PlugThere's a new cheapest energy tariff on the market, but it doesn't come from any of the 'big six' energy suppliers. Instead, M&S Energy has taken top spot with the launch of its Fix and Save tariff.

The Fix and Save Tariff will see you fix your energy bills until September 2014. The average dual fuel user will pay £1,139 a year, saving them £281 from the average tariff. So not only do you benefit from the cheapest tariff around, you also don't need to worry about prices creeping up. Instead you can enjoy the certainty of knowing what you'll be paying for a full year.


However, you will have to pay to get out of the tariff ahead of schedule. The Fix and Save comes with a £50 exit penalty.

The cheapest energy tariffs
Here's how M&S energy's Fix and Save tariff compares to the rest of the cheapest tariffs on the market today:

Supplier

Tariff

Average Cost

Average Saving*

Notes

M&S Energy

Fix & Save

£1,139

£281

Fixed until 30th Sept 2014

First Utility

iSave V16

£1,155

£265

Online billing. Paper bill available for extra £12 pa

npower

Energy Online October 2014

£1,156

£264

4% discount on npower Standard (off-line) rates until 31st Oct 2014

Sainsbury's Energy

Online July 2014

£1,157

£263

4% discount on Sainsbury's Clear & Simple tariff rates until 31st July 2014

SSE

Discounted Energy Bonus October 2014

£1,158

£262

Prices are guaranteed to be 11% cheaper until 1st October 2014.


* based on a typical dual fuel tariff costing £1,420 (Source: Ofgem). All costs are for a yearly average usage dual fuel household paying by monthly direct debit. Average usage defined by Ofgem as 16,500 kWh p.a. of gas and 3,300 kWh p.a. of electricity.

As you can see, the M&S Energy tariff is comfortably the cheapest, with the next four tariffs only separated by £3. It's worth noting that three of the five cheapest tariffs come from providers that aren't members of the big six, demonstrating once again the importance of shopping around and not just going straight to one of the traditional names!

M&S Energy and mis-selling
It's been an interesting couple of weeks for M&S Energy, after it was accused of mis-selling by a former salesman. The whistleblower alleged that salesmen, who sold the deals in M&S stores, had been encouraged to mislead potential customers about how much they could save by switching.

This was done by using comparison booklets, which inflated the price of rival providers' tariffs.

Marks and Spencer has put this down to a 'past issue' which it has already resolved, though earlier this year it did admit that it may have missold to a small number of customers.

Should you fix your energy tariff?
There are a number of arguments in favour of fixing your energy tariff, beyond the fact that you have some certainty about just what you're going to be paying each month.

Perhaps the biggest is that there are plenty of signs that energy bills are going to have to rise, as we explained in Five reasons energy bills will go up imminently. By fixing your tariff, you can avoid being one of the unfortunate ones told that your bills are about to rocket, at least for a little while.

Previously, variable tariffs could at least point to the fact that you need to pay a premium in order to fix your bills. But they don't even have that in their favour now with the launch of the Fix and Save from M&S Energy.

Find the cheapest gas and electricity tariff for you



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