Martin Lewis slams energy firms for ‘outrageous’ exit fees from fixed tariffs

Energy bills are through the roof in the UK – and Martin Lewis is not happy about it.

The MoneySavingExpert founder slammed energy firms for charging customers "outrageous" exit fees from fixed tariffs.

Some suppliers could charge up to £600 to leave fixed deals, up from £60 a year ago.

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But now Martin branded the charges as the "final nail in the coffin of dying energy competition".

Energy firm Outfox the Market currently charges £600 to leave its one-year fixed deal, up from a maximum of £67 in June 2021.

While EDF and Scottish Power charge £300 to leave their two-year fixed deals, up from £70 and £60.

Martin said: "These massive, outrageous early exit fees are the final nail in the coffin of dying energy competition.

"Many people are trying to decide whether to fix or not at the moment.

"That no longer means going cheaper, it's about whether you should pay more now, to forestall the rise likely coming in October."

Many households will be looking at locking in fixed deals to avoid future energy rises.

However, if prices do start to fall and cheaper deals become available, then they wouldn't be able to to save by exiting fixed deals.

Some energy bills, like Octopus Energy and E.on, don't charge fees.

Martin said that a "lack of transparency and visibility" makes it easier for firms to charge high exit fees.

He added: "It's a pig's ear and the regulator needs to intervene to change things."

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Households can avoid an exit fee by switching within the last 49 days of a fixed-term contract.

Some energy firms, including British Gas, do not charge fees for existing customers to switch to new deals.

An Ofgem spokesperson said its "top priority" is to protect consumers.

They said: "We expect suppliers to make sure charges are fair and rules are clear that termination fees are allowed."

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