UK gas and electricity customers face price rise double whammy
20th April 2017 | Residential Energy
Thousands of households are being hit with 40% plus increases to their gas and electricity bills. This is far above the price hikes announced by the big energy firms in recent months. A combination of sneaky changes to billing structures, regional variations and the fact that many popular fixed-price tariffs have come to an end. This leaves many with annual bills rising by £300 or £400 a year, which is contrary to official price rise figures from the major providers.
Most big suppliers (and a number of smaller rivals) announced standard tariff increases of 8% to 15%, with many coming into effect in recent weeks.
Those coming off a fixed deal will notice a very large difference. Customers who were on Npower’s Collective Price Fix March 2017 tariff were paying £742 on average. Since the deal ended on 31 March, that same group will pay £1,187 a year on the firm’s standard tariff. This is a 60% increase.
Those on the Co-op Online March 2017 deal are now paying 50% more, unless they have moved to a cheaper tariff or switched supplier. It seems that anyone who signed up to a fixed-price tariff 12 to 18 months ago is in the same boat.
Mark Todd runs Energyhelpline.com and says the energy price rises reported in the press are not necessarily the price rise which individual households face. “For example, low-usage, electricity-only Npower customers are being hit by 22% price rises, not the 15% average electricity price rise of the 9.8% dual fuel price rise being published.
“Customers coming off cheap fixed-price tariffs can be in for a huge double whammy. A price rise coming off their cheap tariff then another as they land on a higher standard tariff. The most unlucky customers are getting whacked for 60%. With energy it really pays to shop around once a year for a good deal. It’s the easiest big bill to switch and typical savings are in the region of £200 to £300 a year. Not a bad return for around 10 minutes’ work,” he says.
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