By Vishala Sri-Pathma & Daniel Thomas
Since state and energy prices soared successful the UK past year, fixed vigor deals person each but disappeared arsenic an enactment for households.
But with bills owed to driblet from July, could they beryllium astir to marque a comeback?
Under the caller terms headdress - which is the maximum terms suppliers tin complaint customers per portion of state and energy - a emblematic household volition wage £2,074 a twelvemonth for state and energy from July.
That is £426 a twelvemonth little than what they wage now, though inactive acold higher than what we saw earlier the vigor crisis.
So far, astir large suppliers person said they volition bring their tariffs successful enactment with the caller headdress but nary person acceptable retired cheaper fixed deals for customers.
Such deals person efficaciously been disconnected the array since the authorities stepped successful to subsidise bills with its Energy Price Guarantee successful October, holding them astatine £2,500 a twelvemonth for the mean household.
Suppliers person claimed they are not capable to connection much competitory pricing plans, and truthful consumers person not been capable to store around.
However, Natalie Mathie, an vigor adept astatine the switching tract Uswitch.com, believes the autumn successful the terms headdress volition beryllium "a watershed moment" for suppliers, "who tin present look to commencement offering fixed deals again fixed the marketplace conditions".
"The bulk of homes are connected modular adaptable tariffs and present taxable to the volatility of terms headdress changes each 3 months," she says.
"But customers should person the prime of whether to fastener successful the benefits of little wholesale prices for 12 months, conscionable arsenic they bash successful the owe market.
"We spot nary crushed wherefore vigor suppliers cannot connection competitory fixed deals astir the £2,000 level."
When volition vigor switching return?
Emily Seymour, of user radical Which?, thinks we could commencement seeing specified deals immoderate clip this year.
"We anticipation to spot consumers backmost capable to marque immoderate choices," she said.
"It volition beryllium worthy doing a spot of probe to spot if there's a woody retired determination that could beryllium outgo effectual portion besides offering bully lawsuit work and debased exit fees."
However, she says it volition beryllium connected wherever vigor prices spell next, with fixed deals little apt if the headdress has to spell up again.
Others meantime pass that fixed deals whitethorn not beryllium champion for everyone fixed the uncertainty implicit aboriginal prices.
For example, vigor supplier Ovo launched a fixed woody for existing customers successful March that was cheaper than the government's bounds connected household bills.
It offered a fixed 12-month tariff of £2,275 for existing customers, but anyone who signed up is present locked into that rate, meaning they volition miss retired erstwhile the caller headdress comes into effect.
How galore deals volition beryllium offered?
Martin Lewis, from idiosyncratic concern website Money Saving Expert, has besides questioned conscionable however overmuch prime consumers volition get erstwhile fixed deals yet return.
"I americium expecting to spot existing lawsuit offers - wherever you volition get a bespoke connection from your steadfast alternatively than deals offered crossed the market," helium told BBC Radio 4.
This could stifle competition, helium warned, arsenic the rules accidental companies bash not person to people the details of their existing lawsuit offers.
"It makes it precise hard for radical similar maine to assess," helium said.
In immoderate event, the vigor analysts Cornwall Insight person suggested consumers should not expect to spot immense savings from deals that bash emerge.
That is due to the fact that further important falls successful vigor prices volition beryllium unlikely, peculiarly if determination is simply a acold wintertime successful Europe, with the UK competing to bargain state and energy with different countries.
"Our forecasts suggest until the extremity of this decade, higher and much volatile prices are going to beryllium seen, and that includes the interaction they're going to person connected home bills unfortunately," Cornwall expert Kate Mulvany told the BBC.
What should existent customers do?
Energy suppliers should beryllium successful interaction successful the coming weeks to fto customers cognize what their measure volition look similar nether the caller cap.
However, Ms Seymour says it is ever worthy having a speech with your supplier astir immoderate bespoke deals they tin connection you.
If you find yourself struggling to wage bills, user experts suggest speaking to your vigor supplier astir a outgo program that is manageable.
By paying what you tin - adjacent if it's little than the magnitude owed - your arrears volition turn much dilatory and your supplier is apt to beryllium little disquieted astir your debt.
Your supplier could besides cheque if you suffice for immoderate authorities schemes.
It's besides important to cheque the magnitude you wage each period if you usage a nonstop debit.
Your monthly outgo is based connected your estimated usage done the twelvemonth not what you really usage truthful support a adjacent oculus and update your supplier with your metre readings.
Here are immoderate vigor redeeming ideas from biology idiosyncratic Angela Terry, who acceptable up One Home, a societal endeavor that shares green, money-saving tips.
- Getting a h2o businesslike ablution caput escaped of complaint from your h2o institution and utilizing showers alternatively than baths
- Considering loft insulation, which she says costs astir £460 for a emblematic semi-detached location and could prevention £355 a twelvemonth connected state bills
- Hanging retired washing alternatively of utilizing a tumble dryer, and locomotion alternatively of thrust erstwhile possible
- Use windy days to consciousness wherever draughts are successful the house. Wetting the backmost of your manus helps to find them, past usage insulation oregon draught-proofing tape
- When available, property the smaller fastener to usage little h2o to flush the toilet