MARTIN Lewis has explained if you should fix your gas and electric bill as millions face higher energy prices.
Experts have warned that energy bills could rise by 51% in April adding as much as £600 to costs.
Budget busting rises have already hit many households as the cost of wholesale gas has shot up this winter.
A price cap set by the energy regulator Ofgem limits the average charge for gas and electric.
The current price cap of £1,277 is reviewed twice a year and the next rise will come in April.
Fixed deals used to be cheaper than the price cap, but are now more expensive, with the average now £2,391.
With an increase of 51% expected, it means the typical bill under the cap could shoot up to £1,925 a year from April 1.
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The money saving expert said: “After number-crunching, for most, it’s still a ‘no’, but for the first time in many months fixing may be worth it for a few.”
“If you’re offered a fix that’s no more than 40% costlier than your current price-capped tariff, it’s worth considering – especially if you value budgeting certainty”
Most fixed deals available now are 56% more than the cap, so fixing is unlikely to be worth it, unless you have very high or low usage, he explains.
But some deals offered to existing customers of energy firms could be better than those available to all.
“If you’re offered one, do the numbers to see what percentage the increase is,” said Martin.
But, there’s a risk that if you fix now and prices drop, you could be locked in to a deal costing more.
On the other hand, if prices rise, you’ve locked in at the cheaper rate.
If in doubt, stick
It’s a complex situation Martin admitted and energy customers could be confused.
In short he said: “It looks like most people should do nothing (no certainty, I don’t have a crystal ball), it looks like only a few edge cases should be looking at fixing right now.
“So if in doubt, just stick on today’s cheapest price – which is the cap. And to be plain, the 40% figure is my best guess, not firm.”
Martin also explained how to check in his ITV programme The Martin Lewis Money Show, which you can watch below.
The 40% figure are based on certain assumptions, like the calculations for working out the cap staying the same.
The government or Ofgem could still make changes to help people struggling with bills.
Martin has called on the government to take action before the April 1 bill rise.
The government has ruled out scrapping VAT on energy bills that could save £100 a year.
But those in the coldest parts of the UK could get extra help with bills, under plans reportedly being considered by the Treasury.
The Government already has the Cold Weather Payment scheme which pays some benefit claimants £25 for every seven-day period that temps drop below freezing.
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