Fixed energy tariffs explained
A recent addition to the Irish energy market, we’ve got all of the information you need on fixed-rate energy plans.
What is a fixed rate tariff?
A fixed rate tariff does exactly what it says on the tin - with these kinds of deals, your unit rate and standing charge are set for the period of your contract. There aren’t many available in Ireland - at the moment, Iberdrola and BEenergy are the only suppliers offering these kinds of tariffs.
What are the advantages of a fixed rate tariff?
The main advantage of a fixed rate tariff is that it can give you some peace of mind and protection against any energy price hikes that might occur throughout the duration of your contract.
What are the disadvantages of a fixed rate tariff?
In general, fixed rate tariffs won’t be the cheapest deals on the market, as the unit rates tend to be higher than discounted variable rates. So you won’t make the maximum possible savings by switching to a fixed rate deal, but you will be protected against hikes for the duration of your contract.
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What should I do when my fixed rate energy deal expires?
All of the fixed rate deals on offer in Ireland at the moment are either 12 or 24-month contracts, so the best bet would be to make a note in your calendar when you sign up to the tariff to remind you of its end-date.
Once the fixed-rate tariff ends, you will normally be moved onto the supplier’s standard variable tariff, so it’s likely your bills will be higher, and you’ll also be vulnerable to any future price rises.
As such, when your tariff ends, the best bet is to shop around for a new energy deal and compare all of the options available to you, and then switch to the deal that suits you best. Switching every year is the best way to make sure you’re always getting the best value on your energy.
Is a fixed rate tariff the right plan for me?
This all depends on what you’re looking for from your deal. As we’ve said, in general fixed rate deals will not be the cheapest on the market, but if you’re worried about price rises one of these deals could provide you with some much-needed peace of mind, which may be worth more to you than a bigger initial discount.
However, if you’re willing to opt for a non-fixed tariff, you’ll make bigger initial savings - with an average dual fuel customer currently able to save up to €342 by switching from typical standard tariffs to the cheapest deals on the market.
But bear in mind that you’re signing up to a specific discount, rather than the exact unit rate, so the unit rate itself can fluctuate on these plans if the supplier you go with decides to hike - or cut - rates. The best thing to do is to carefully compare all deals available to you to make sure you’re picking the one that suits you best.