Householders were left stunned this week when British Gas announced a HUGE price hike.
Standard electricity prices will go up by a whopping 12.5 per cent from September 15.
It’s believed that bills for a typical dual fuel customer will go up by 7 per cent as a result.
Martin Lewis from moneysavingexpert says that average households on British Gas standard tariff will pay £1,151 a year (about £96 a month) after that rise comes into effect.
But the cheapest tariffs on offer for the same usage are around £834 a year (just under £70 a month).
British Gas is the last of the Big Six energy firms to put up prices this year.
Here’s what each has done:
British Gas. It’s announced a 12.5% hike to standard electricity prices from Friday, September 15. If you’ve dual fuel, that’s a 7.3% increase on average.
E.on. It hiked electricity prices by 13.8% and gas by 3.8% on April 26– an 8.8% increase to standard dual-fuel prices on average.
EDF. On June 21, standard dual-fuel prices rose by an average 7.2%, with gas up by 5.5% and electricity by 9%. This follows a 1.2% hike back in March.
Npower. Its price rise hit on March 16, with standard gas prices up by 4.8% and electricity by a massive 15% – a 9.8% hike on average.
Scottish Power. Standard tariff customers saw prices rise on March 31. Its dual-fuel tariff went up by 7.8% on average, with gas rising by 4.7% and electricity by 10.8%.
SSE. On April 28, its standard dual-fuel tariff increased by an average 6.9%. Electricity rose by 14.9%, while gas prices were unchanged.
Mr Lewis said: “If you’re on a standard tariff with any of these companies, whether they’ve frozen prices or not, it’s likely you’re still massively overpaying.
“You’ll need to act quickly to lock in cheaper prices – we’ve seen the price of the cheapest deals jump over the last year. The cheapest fixes now cost around £110 a year more compared with May 2016, based on typical use.”
Changing to a cheaper supplier to save money on your household expenses only takes five minutes, he added, explaining: “Switching is usually no big deal – there’s no break in service, no engineers. It’s the same gas, electricity and safety. Only price and customer service change.”
And, what’s more, there are predictions that more price rises will come in winter. So now is definitely the time to do it.
A study by the government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found about 70 per cent of customers are still on default standard tariffs, paying an estimated total of £1.4 billion more a year than if they had switched to better price plans. A third of people had never even considered switching.
The CMA said: “Lack of awareness of what deals are available, confusing and inaccurate bills and the real and perceived difficulties of changing suppliers all deter switching.”
Its investigation concluded: “Many customers do not shop around to see if there’s a better deal out there – let alone switch. The confusing way energy is measured and billed can make comparing deals understandably daunting.
“The result is that some energy suppliers know they don’t have to work hard to keep these customers. It’s notable that there are such high levels of complaints about customer service.”
In 2016, the CMA announced proposals to force suppliers to give Ofgem details of everyone that has been on standard tariffs for more than three years.
This is being used to compile a database to allow rival suppliers to contact customers to offer cheaper deals.
These measures were expected come into effect this year.