Which? is urging millions of energy customers to switch suppliers to avoid overpaying on their bills by hundreds of pounds, as price hikes come into force from this week.
New Which? analysis has found that nine million Big Six energy customers could beat what critics have dubbed as ‘price hike fortnight’ and some could save over four hundred pounds by switching to a better value deal.
Four of the Big Six energy firms will be hiking their energy prices on their standard variable tariffs, if they haven’t already, in the next few weeks. SSE will also be getting in on the action by increasing its standard tariffs in July.
SSE customers will see the biggest price increase, as British households on its standard tariff can expect their gas and electricity bills to cost an average £76 more per year.
The firm announced a 6.7% price rise this week, to come into force on 11 July, meaning customers will pay £1,196 per year on average.
Overall, Npower customers will still be paying the most, as its price increase of £64 – 5.5% – will mean customers on its standard tariff will pay £1,230 per year on average from 17 June.
According to Which?, Npower customers on its standard tariff could save up to £434 by switching to the cheapest deal on the market- Utility Point’s variable tariff at £797 per year- or £268 by switching to Npower’s own cheapest tariff.
British Gas’ price hike came into effect on the 29 May, with four million of its dual-fuel standard tariff customers seeing their bill rise from £1,101 to £1,161 on average per year.
This is an increase of 5.5% or £60 a year – £364 more than the cheapest deal on the market. This makes British Gas’ standard tariff the fourth most expensive of the Big Six firms after NPower, Scottish Power and SSE, once all price rises have come into effect.
Households who are keen to stay loyal to British Gas could still save £113 if they ask it for the best deal available.
As of the 1 June, Scottish Power customers on its standard tariff will see their bills increase by an average of £63 a year, an increase of 5.5% bringing its standard tariff to £1,211 on average per year.
Affecting more than one million households, this increase will make its standard tariff cost £414 more than the cheapest deal on the market and £100 more than Scottish Power’s own cheapest tariff.
Over a million EDF customers will also be subject to a price increase – with this one coming into effect on the 7 June.
Customers on the firm’s standard tariff will see their electricity bills increase by 1.4%, or £16 a year, taking this SVT to a total of £1,158 for the average user. This takes EDF’s dual fuel standard tariff to £361 more than the cheapest deal on the market and £167 more than EDF’s own cheapest available deal.
Eon has not announced a price increase. However, it back in March it said that it was cutting dual-fuel and paperless discounts from its bills and increasing its standing charge for some customers. This will mean some customers pay £30 more a year – leading to an average annual bill of £1,153.
Many of the energy companies have blamed rising policy, network and wholesale energy costs for their price increases.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:
“Energy customers tired of being slapped with eye-watering energy bills can take the power back into their own hands and radically change how much they pay, simply by choosing a better deal.
“Before the energy price cap comes into effect later this year, anyone still suffering on a poor value standard tariff should take five minutes to compare and switch as they could potentially save up to £434 a year.”
Notes to editors:
- Customers looking for cheaper energy deals can compare deals with Which? Switch, a transparent and impartial way to compare energy tariffs and find the best gas and electricity supplier.
Differences between company’s standard variable tariff (after price rise) and cheapest deal on the market and company’s cheapest deal
- British Gas – Difference between British Gas SVT and cheapest deal on the market £364 and difference between SVT and cheapest British Gas deal £113
- EDF Energy -Difference between EDF Energy SVT and cheapest deal on the market £361 and difference between SVT and cheapest EDF Energy deal £167
- Eon – Difference between Eon SVT and cheapest deal on the market £357 and difference between SVT and cheapest Eon deal £177
- Npower – Difference between Npower SVT and cheapest deal on the market £434 and difference between SVT and cheapest Npower deal £268
- Scottish Power – Difference between Scottish Power SVT and cheapest deal on the market £414 and difference between SVT and cheapest Scottish Power Deal £100
- SSE – Difference between SSE SVT and cheapest deal on the market £399 and difference between SVT and cheapest SSE deal £87
Top 5 cheapest deals (available GB-wide)
- Utility Point Flexi Online Tracker 18 Wk19 Direct – Paperless. It’s a variable tariff costing £797 per year.
- Outfox the Market Zapp! December Tariff Medium – Paperless. This is a variable tariff, £807 per year.
- Economy Energy Switch Saver – Paperless. This is a variable tariff, £811 per year.
- Usio Energy Supply Limited Green Lite 0.1 – Paperless. This is a variable tariff, £812 per year.
- Usio Energy Supply Limited Home After 7pm Fixed 0.1 – Paperless. This is a fixed tariff, £826 per year. It’s available only for customers with smart meters.
Cheapest deals from the Big Six:
- British Gas HomeEnergy Warm and Cosy Jul 2019 £1,048
- EDF Energy Simply Fixed Renewal May19 – Paperless £991
- Eon uSwitch Exclusive 1 Year v1 £976
- Npower Online Broker Fix June 2019 – Paperless £963
- Scottish Power Online Fixed Saver June 2019 v2 – Paperless £1,111
- SSE Fix & Shop (paperless billing) £1,109
Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff available in all regions of England, Scotland and Wales for an average user (using Ofgem averages of 3,100kWh of electricity and 12,000kWh of gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills. Data is from Energylinx. Prices given are averages across regions, are rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 29 May 2018.