Martin Lewis calls for households with fixed energy agreements to be allowed to switch without penalty
Consumer rights campaigner Martin Lewis has called on energy companies to allow customers to exit fixed rate deals without paying an exit penalty.
The Money Saving Expert founder told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that allowing customers to escape expensive fixed tariffs without penalty would be the “minimum” energy providers could do.
“Some people made the legitimate choice to pay their bills,” he said. “What I would ask at a minimum is that anyone who is on a fix should be allowed by every energy company to switch to the new state-subsidized energy tariff and they should be allowed to do so without any penalty. Release.”
Some energy customers have recently switched from standard variable tariffs, which fall under energy regulator Ofgem’s price cap, to much higher fixed tariffs, as households’ annual energy bills are reported to reach over 6 £500 this winter.
At the time, some fixed rate transactions cost significantly more than the capped variable rate, but less than the expected price cap, meaning it would have been beneficial for households to fix.
However, with Prime Minister Liz Truss due to set the cap at £2,500, customers who have repaired in recent weeks are expected to pay more than the odds.
Those who try to escape their fixed-rate offers early will usually have to pay at least £100, with some offers incurring a fine of £600, according to USwitch, a comparison site.
According to USwitch, most major providers no longer have fixed offers.
Mr Lewis said the recently elected Prime Minister’s supposed plans to freeze the cap were ‘not perfect’ but that ‘millions, if not tens of millions, will breathe a sigh of relief knowing they will be able to pay their energy bills this winter.”
He added: ‘We should be pleased that something is being done and that the political will has changed so that people across the country are not faced with 120% hikes by January, bringing a typical annual bill to £5,000. ”