British Gas customers on standard variable tariffs saw their gas and electricity bills rise by 5.5% on May 29, equivalent to around £60 a year for a typical customer, with Scottish Power and EDF hiking prices by 5.5% and 1.4% respectively on June 1 and June 7. Prices will rise by 5.3% for 1m Npower dual fuel standard tariff customers on June 17.
Victoria Arrington of energy comparison website energyhelpline.com, said: “Energy price rises serve as a wakeup call to consumers that standard variable tariffs often are a losing game all around. These “default” tariffs are extremely expensive in comparison to other options on the market, but thankfully they are easy to escape from.”
If you have previously signed up to a fixed tariff to protect yourself from energy price rises, check when your current deal ends. According to comparethemarket.com, 52 fixed energy deals finish in June and more than 98,000 customers could see their bills increase by an average of £201 if they automatically roll over onto standard variable tariffs.
If you’re looking to change energy supplier, the good news is that there is no shortage of deals to choose from.
“The number of energy suppliers in the UK has grown rapidly over the past decade,” says Arrington. “There are now 69 active suppliers in the UK – meaning customers have more choice than ever. As result more people than ever are realising the power that comes from switching and saving – which on could potentially mean £311 of energy savings each year.”
Signing up to a collective energy switching scheme, whereby you join forces with other people to negotiate a group deal, often gives you access to some of the cheapest energy tariffs.
Registration for the Radio Times Summer 2018 Energy Collective energy switch in partnership with energyhelpline.com opens on June 20. Once people have signed up, energyhelpline invites suppliers to bid and provide an exclusive cheap energy deal for the group.
After you’ve registered, you’ll then be notified which deals are available. You’re under no obligation to switch to any of these deals, so it’s up to you to decide whether to proceed or not. You’ll have around four weeks to switch and you can do this online or by phone. Typical customer savings are around £250 a year.
If you do decide to switch, energyhelpline will arrange the move for you. All you need to do is provide a meter reading to your new supplier on the day of the switch over and cancel and direct debits or standing orders to your old supplier.
Sign up to the Radio Times Energy Collective Switch, and hundreds of pounds on your energy bills.