Another 2.3 million households are facing higher energy bills after the 4th of the big six energy suppliers announces its prices will rise by an average 7% from the 3rd of December. This is the 4th time price increase announcements have been made in a matter of days prompting real concerns from consumer groups across the UK. This 7% increase will mean a typical monthly direct debit customer will see their average annual dual fuel bill rise to £1,271.
The latest price increase announcement comes despite Chancellor George Osborne calling for energy firms to reconsider the price rises that have sparked warnings of more households being plunged into fuel poverty this winter. Scottish Power have too blamed factors beyond its control on its announcement as it blames rising wholesale energy costs and increased infrastructure costs as its main cause.
This echoed the views last week of Phil Bentley, the British Gas managing director, who claimed that 85% of the price it charged to customers was outside its control also. This will offer little to no comfort to the millions of customer already struggling with the cost of living as we start to enter the winter period.
Consumer groups have yet again urged customers to compare energy suppliers and look at fixed price deals to protect against a surge of rising energy costs. Some of the best long term deals will not only fixed prices for this winter, but next winter to.
Some householders could still save as much as £300 by switching supplier and tariff, but many of the cheapest deals have recently been pulled. Three of the cheapest five tariffs now come from two of the country’s smallest suppliers, First Utility and Ovo Energy.
Scottish Power today said “It had to increase prices for customers because the cost of transporting gas and electricity to customers’ homes, and of energy efficiency programmes, had risen”.
Time To Look At Fixed Energy Price Deals
The message for energy customers can’t be any clearer, fix your bills now as there is only one way energy bills are going, and that’s up. Some consumers could save as much as £200 a year if they switched suppliers.
Currently, the cheapest energy option comes from First Utility, which operates an Internet only based energy account charging an average of £1,054 a year.
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