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Energy deal ending? Switch or your bill will jump

If you’re signed up to one of the 12 plans coming to an end this month, you could be in line for a substantial price increase.

On the 31 July 2015, 12 fixed energy tariffs from British Gas, Co-operative Energy, EDF Energy, First Utility and ScottishPower will come to an end. If you’re on one of these plans you should have received a letter from your supplier 42-49 days before its end date.

In most cases, when your plan ends, your supplier will roll you on to a more expensive standard tariff. For example, households signed up to the Co-operative Energy’s Fixed Price July 2015 plan, will see their annual energy bill go up by just under £100*.

Recent price drops from some energy suppliers, however, mean that this isn’t the case for everyone. If you are on British Gas’ Price Promise July 2015 tariff, you will actually be switched to a cheaper energy plan on 1 August 2015.

Still worth shopping for a better deal

Regardless of whether you will be rolled over on to a more expensive or a cheaper tariff, the end of an energy plan is always a great time to check your options. Although it is true that a number of energy suppliers have cut their prices in recent weeks, millions of homes on a dual fuel tariff could save up to £160 by choosing a cheaper deal.

Still not convinced? A recent investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority found that households had overpaid for their gas and electricity by £1.2billion between 2009 and 2013. Time to make a move.

Easier switching with QR codes

A QR (Quick Response) code is a barcode that you can scan using a smart device. From the 30 June 2015 you should have noticed them on your energy bill. The feature is still pretty new, but scanning your code should give you all the information you need to change supplier.

Some price comparison websites, such as CompareTheMarket and uSwitch, have created apps that allow you to scan your QR code and then present you with a list of the best deals available for you.

Of course, if you don’t want to switch using a QR code, you can still change without one. Simply visit a price comparison website, armed with a recent energy bill, fill in your details and pick a cheaper deal. We recommend running a comparison on more than one website before making a final choice, to make sure you get a full market overview.

*Figures based on a medium user, consuming 3,200 kWhs of electricity per year and 13,500kWhs of gas per year.

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