gas burnerAndrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The cost of energy is all over the place at the moment. Each company has tweaked prices here and there to account for falling wholesale prices. But the complexity of the market and of the changes mean it's tricky to keep on top of the best deals.

So who is offering the most competitive deals at the moment?

Comparison website energyhelpline.com has investigated the best deals around right now. The site points out that Fuel Poverty Awareness Day today is all very well and good for highlighting that 7 million people are struggling with their bills and are now officially in fuel poverty. However, it doesn't do them any good unless they know where they should be moving.

The experts say that making the right switch for gas and electricity could save the average household £292 - so it's worth the effort. Mark Todd, director of Energyhelpline.com, said: "Living standards are being squeezed to the point where many households face a daily challenge to make ends meet. However, it is not all doom and gloom and energy customers can save hundreds of pounds in just a few minutes by switching supplier."


The best deals

The best deal overall is the First Utility Internet tariff, which will cost the average UK household £1,030 a year - £292 cheaper than the UK average bill of £1,322. The company is also responsible for the second most competitive deal - which would save the average householder £262 a year.

For those who would rather go with a better-known provider, Ovo, nPower and Scottish Power are all in the top five, and according to energyhelpline.co.uk they are currently attracting the most business.

The future

Interestingly there are four fixed deals in the top five - indicating that the providers don't think prices will be rising again in the immediate future.

In fact, it may be worth considering a variable deal, because prices may be on their way down. Todd said: "The recent spike in wholesale prices due to the cold weather has now calmed. Further small price cuts are expected from summer onwards. If the UK and European economies slow dramatically this year then big price cuts are possible."

So it's well worth switching now, and if you opt for a variable deal, it may well be worth switching later in the year too. It may seem like changing suppliers is your new full time job, but it could be a rewarding one.

The five cheapest deals

1. first:utility iSave v9, average cost of £1030
2. first:utility iSave Fixed v1, average cost of £1,060
3. Ovo New Energy Fixed, average cost of £1,061
4. Scottish Power Online Fixed Price Energy May 2013, average cost of £1,070
5. Npower Go Fix 10, average cost of £1,078

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