Utilities and communications

Is your energy bill about to soar?

Householders who have signed up for fixed energy prices are being urged to check their paperwork to see if they should be expecting an imminent price rise.

Eight fixed tariffs from a total of five providers will expire at the end of September, and analysis by one price-comparison service suggests it will lead to an increase in annual bills of 11% for people who don’t switch to a better deal.

EDF Energy, First Utility, Scottish Power, M&S Energy, and Isupply Energy are the companies with fixed tariffs that will run out at the end of the month.

According to Gocompare.com, some First Utility customers will see the biggest average bill increases of all, with a 22% rise costing an extra £238 a year on average. Meanwhile, customers in the south-east of England on Scottish Power’s Online Energy Saver 23 tariff can expect an average annual price hike of £165.

“With four fixed tariffs from Big Six providers among the eight due to end this month, many households could find that their annual energy bills are set to increase if they don’t take action and look for a better deal, said Jeremy Cryer, of Gocompare.

Some Scottish customers of First Utility might see their bills fall by switching automatically to their provider’s standard tariff, but Mr Cryer said that was no excuse for consumer complacency.

“Not taking action and just rolling on to your supplier’s standard tariff is the very worst option,” he said.

“Even if you think that you will be saving money by doing so, it’s likely to be a tiny amount and unlikely to be anywhere near as much as you could save if you shopped around, comparing lots of different tariffs from multiple energy companies.

“If you never compare your energy tariffs against the others available then you’re likely to be paying more than you need to for your gas and electricity, which will only stand to benefit the suppliers.”

Mr Cryer said there were some attractive alternative fixed tariffs available at the moment.

“It’s well worth taking the time to see if there’s a better deal out there for you,” he said.