An energy tariff offering fixed prices for a year has sold out within hours of being publicised, after consumers rushed to try to protect themselves from the effects of the war in Ukraine on household bills.
E.on’s Next Online V11 tariff promised prices fixed for a year, set at the same level as Ofgem’s new capped rate.
Launched in mid-February, and only available to existing E.on customers, the deal had largely gone unnoticed until the MoneySavingExpert founder, Martin Lewis, highlighted the tariff on Monday.
Within hours it was pulled from sale by E.on, such was the demand from people desperate to shield themselves from further energy price increases.
Dual fuel gas and electricity bills are already set to rise more than 50% to an average of just under £2,000 per household on 1 April after the regulator, Ofgem, increased the cap on unit prices – the maximum suppliers can charge households.
However, analysts have warned that the war in Ukraine could lead to a further 50% increase when the cap changes again in October, leaving households facing the prospect of paying £3,000 a year to heat and light their home.
“If you’ve been offered this rate as an E.on customer you should bite its hand off and take it, as energy prices are anticipated to go up again later this year. It’s a corker,” said Lewis of the tariff on Monday.
The deal was only available to existing Eon customers who paid by direct debit.
An E.on spokesperson said: ”In these challenging times, we’re doing our best to offer competitive tariffs for our customers and to have them available for as long as we can.
“Our tariffs have to reflect the costs we pay on the global wholesale market and we offer a number of ways we can help customers through these difficult times.”
Since the start of the energy crisis last autumn, switching in the energy market has all but ceased as suppliers have collapsed and there has been no incentive for companies to try to attract new customers.
Even before the events of last week, households were facing up to the prospect of high energy bills as part of the cost-of-living crisis.
On Monday, the Bank of America warned UK households could suffer the biggest annual decline in their living standards since the 1950s.