Homes across the UK could see their energy bills increase by up to £445 a year as a result of fixed-rate deals offered by 10 popular providers expiring.
A study conducted by price comparison and switching service uSwitch shows that deals offered by some of the country’s biggest providers, including EDF Energy, npower, First Utility and Co-operative Energy, end on 31 March.
Several companies have recently hiked their standard variable tariffs and customers on the fixed-rate plans could face steep price increases if they automatically roll over.
Before recent price rises, moving on to standard variable tariffs would have increased bills by an average of £282 a year, according to uSwitch. Now it will add an average of £369, which the website calls “a double whammy for consumers’ wallets”.
According to the survey, those customers rolling from npower’s fixed-price deal onto a standard variable tariff at the end of March, would be charged £445 extra each year. uSwitch was unable to comment on how many customers would be affected by a price hike.
Energy supplier SSE earlier this month became the latest major provider to confirm that is increasing standard domestic electricity prices from 28 April.
The 6.9 per cent dual fuel increase will mean a typical domestic customer will pay on average £73 a year more, which equates to around £1.40 per week, as a result of an average 14.9 per cent increase in electricity prices.
Earlier, E.On announced that customers will pay an extra £97 a year on energy bills, while npower announced a 9.8 per cent rise. Scottish Power is due to increase prices by 7.8 per cent and EDF by 1.2 per cent.
British Gas has so far bucked the trend by committing to keeping its gas and electricity prices.
“The most competitive deals in the market are usually short lived – around 12 months,” said Archna Luthra, head of energy at price comparison site MoneySavingexpert.com.
“Once the deal ends you’re automatically rolled on to pricey standard deals – the same deals that are being hiked by suppliers right now,” she added.
Hannah Maundrell, editor in chief of money.co.uk and personal finance expert, said that customers “should not be fooled by promises of rewards for loyal customers”.
“The only person you should be loyal to is yourself because you’re the one footing the bill.”
uSwitch’s latest warning comes a week after Theresa May vowed to crack down on spiralling energy prices saying that “the market is not working as it should”.
In a speech in Cardiff, the Prime Minister said that prices had soared by 158 per cent over the last 15 years, with the poorest hit by the highest tariffs.
She did not spell out how she planned to keep prices capped but the pledge revived memories of Ed Miliband’s plans to intervene in the energy market – condemned by the Tories at the time.
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The UK’s vegetable crisis has not only gripped the country’s supermarkets and healthy eaters, but also a bale of 12 hungry green sea turtles in aquariums across the country. Eight aquariums run by the company Sea Life are calling on visitors to spare lettuce or broccoli for their shelled inhabitants who, as a result of a shortage of some vegetables in the UK, are missing out on their favourite meals.
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The chief executive of Apple has told Prime Minister Theresa May that he is “very optimistic” about the UK’s future outside of the European Union. Tim Cook met Ms May at Downing Street on Thursday morning and reiterated the tech giant’s plans to build a new UK headquarters at the Battersea Power Station as proof of the company’s support of the UK.
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Sir Ken Morrison, the founder of supermarket chain of Morrisons, who was instrumental in growing the company into one of Britain’s leading retailers, has died at the age of 85
Employers working for online fashion retailer Boohoo.com risk getting fired for smiling or checking their mobile phones, an investigation by Channel 4 has found. The investigation comes after online fashion retailer Asos was accused last year of exploitative working practises with staff reportedly unable to take regular water and toilet breaks for fears of missing targets. The company denied those allegations.
Britain’s biggest retailer announced that it was merging with Booker, the UK’s top food wholesaler, in a £3.7bn deal. In a joint statement, the two companies said that the combined group would bring benefits for consumers, independent retailers, caterers, small businesses, suppliers, and colleagues, and deliver “significant value to shareholders”.
The chief executive of Imperial Brands, the maker of Gauloises and Winston cigarettes, is unlikely to get a pay rise this year in what seems to be another battle over boardroom greed. Alison Cooper received a total pay package of £5.5m in the last financial year, up from £3.6m the year before. ADVERTISING inRead invented by Teads READ MORE Link between high executive pay and performance ‘negligible’ A new pay policy that would have had the effect of taking Ms Cooper’s remuneration to £8.5m in 2017 was expected to be put to a shareholders’ vote on 1 February. However, in an announcement to the stock exchange on Thursday, Imperial Brands said it would not put the policy to a vote as originally planned.
Wall Street’s Dow Jones Industrial Average stock index on Wednesday hit the 20,000 mark for the first time in its history. In morning trading in the US, the index added around 0.5 percent to surpass the psychologically important threshold and take its gains since this time last year to 23.8 per cent according to Thomson Reuters data.
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HSBC plans to close 62 branches this year, resulting in up to 180 job losses, in response to the rising popularity of online and mobile banking, the bank announced on Tuesday. In a statement, HSBC said that over the past five years, the number of customers using HSBC branches had fallen by almost 40 per cent and 93 per cent of customers’ contact with the bank is now done on the telephone, internet or via smartphone. A total of 97 per cent of cash withdrawals are made via an ATM.
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Shares in Fiat Chrysler plunged on Thursday after US authorities said that the carmaker had violated the Clean Air Act by allowing excess diesel emissions in some vehicles. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) accused the company of using software that allowed excess diesel emissions in just over 100,000 US trucks and SUVs sold since 2014. READ MORE Six senior Volkswagen employees charged over emissions scandal Shares listed in Europe were recently trading around 18 per cent lower on the day. Shares in the US fell 16 per cent before being halted from trading, wiping $2.3bn (£1.88bn) off the company’s market value.
A rise in global income inequality, that already helped spur the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election victory, are expected to shape world developments over the next decade, according to the World Economic Forum. For a report published ahead of its annual summit in Davos next week, the WEF surveyed 750 risk experts and found that rising income and wealth disparity were cited as the most important trends in determining global developments over the next 10 years.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has ended any hopes to purchase new Routemasters bus for the capital’s streets as he tries to balance the books on London’s transport budget. Once called ‘Boris buses’ named after his the previous mayor, every bus would cost around £350,000 each, or around £50,000 more than an ordinary bus. But the new mayor has promised to freeze purchases of the vehicles, which were criticised for being expensive and sauna-like conditions.
Britain’s blue chip FTSE 100 set a new record on the last day of trading of 2016 after climbing to record closing highs for two consecutive days. The blue-chip index gained 22 points or 0.3 per cent, to finish at 7142 points on Friday, its third closing high in as many days and a new intraday high.
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Pharmaceutical company Actavis has been accused of overcharging the NHS by raising the price of hydrocortisone tablets by more than 12,000 per cent over the course of eight years. Hydrocortisone tablets are used by people with adrenal insufficiency, a life-threatening condition where their adrenal glands do not produce enough natural steroid hormones.
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The prime minister, Theresa May, visits butcher J&S Rook in her constituency of Maidenhead, ahead of Small Business Saturday
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Opec countries have agreed their first supply cut in eight years, sending the price of crude surging more than 8%.
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The hugely anticipated game is an attempt to capitalise on the smartphone gaming market after the phenomenal success of Pokemon Go.
The pound has risen against all of its major peers on Thursday after the Government announced it cannot trigger Article 50 without parliament approval and the Bank of England said it is no longer expecting to cut interest rates this year.
Environmental groups expressed dismay at the Government’s decision to give a third runway at the airport the go-ahead – and Greenpeace vowed to challenge it in the courts. Allowing Heathrow to expand will create “a serious obstacle” to meeting the UK’s commitments on climate change and reducing air pollution, a leading scientist has warned.
Reclaim the Power
Nearly ten thousands Chinese jobseekers are competing for one position: an officer worker at a political organisation.China’s annual civil service recruitment drive began on October 15, with more than 27,000 vacancies on offer in over 120 central departments – drawing about 1.4 million applicants this year. Job seekers registering for the civil exams are required to pick the positions they are most interested in when they sign up for the test but one job was more popular than others. China’s annual civil service recruitment drive began on October 15, with more than 27,000 vacancies on offer in over 120 central departments – drawing about 1.4 million applicants this year.
Also in response to relentless rises in prices, Ofgem last month said that it had set a temporary price cap to protect over four million households who prepay for their energy.
Responding to uSwitch’s findings on Thursday, Ofgem said that it would “urge everyone to shop around for a better deal, especially if their supplier announces a price rise or if their fixed term deal is about to expire”.
“With switching at its highest rate for six years, suppliers who don’t bear down on costs effectively risk losing customers to cheaper rivals.”