Time to buckle up and hold on tight: fuel rate increases are about to hit (yes, again). If you are among the many consumers who are wisely shopping around for new tariffs, consider making the smart move: balance your budget with a fixed price energy scheme.
Protect Your Budget
Let’s face it: there’s no way of dodging these increases. And, according to news reports, the expected ten percent increase that’s heading your way before autumn–that’s just around the corner!–isn’t the last of the rate hikes to come.
The severe increases are due to a variety of factors impacting the market. One such factor is the industry’s increasing level of expenditures for developing and implementing infrastructures necessary to building, supporting and maintaining green energy initiatives. Going green is ecologically friendly and cost effective in the long run, but in the short term, it means a whole lot of funding and resources need to be directed to setting the groundwork to get it all started. So, for a while, the result is massive, additional costs, without any apparent benefit. Of course, the benefits are in the making; they just won’t be evident to the consumer until the new eco-friendly plants are completed and pushed into use. Depending on the type of plants being devised, development and implementation could take years before consumers get to enjoy first-hand the benefits of clean and affordable energy.
The key to making it from these costly days of funding green initiatives to enjoying the rewards of affordable eco-friendly technology is to budget now for the future. Ideally, that budgeting begins now with your gas and electric tariffs.
Budget Balancing in Rate-Crazy Times
Just as you might stock up on groceries when you see them on sale at the market, or take advantage of other special sales when you recognize a bargain’s to be had, there’s no reason not to jump on savings for your household fuel rates when given the opportunity to do so.
And, opportunities are indeed ripe at this very moment. Acutely aware of the impending increases, all of the UK’s fuel providers are jockeying for your business, and each one is offering fixed rate plans to rival the others. Not only are the prices competitive, but terms, discounts and bonuses are thrown in to entice new customers into switching. If you are easily swayed by bonuses, keep this in mind: compare the fair market value of your bonus item against the total amount of money you’d save if you went with another provider’s plan. It could be that the provider offering fewer bells and whistles is the one giving you the better bottom line when it comes to pure fuel costs.
In your searching, do take care to only select a program which does not penalize you or otherwise infringe you from switching providers at any point during your term. New energy policies come into play by the close of 2013, requiring providers alert consumers to their cheapest tariffs by spring of 2014.
This development may impact whatever scheme you select in the next couple of weeks. When those new, simplified tariffs divulging the cheapest rates come onto the market, it may indeed be worth switching your plans yet again, despite meaning you might walk away from what is, at present, an excellent locked-in rate. Of course, you won’t know until that time arrives; hence, the need for ensuring flexibility in whatever tariff you secure in the immediate future.
Having a predictable, fixed rate in hand will help you maintain and meet your budget for the term of the tariff; having a no-strings-attached out clause affords you the extra opportunity to pounce upon even lower prices, should they become available in the new year. One never knows what or how worldwide market forces may impact fuel costs over a period of months, regardless of what any experts may claim. Even though industry analysts on the whole foresee only increases, there’s always the chance of a rate drop. Make certain it is only your tariff’s rate that is securely locked in–not you who is irrefutably locked into a plan.
Time is running short. If you hope to balance your budget by taking advantage of fixed price energy schemes, make your move to a tariff with locked-in rates immediately. Because once the rates go up, it’ll be too late to do anything other than long for the days when rates were “so low.”