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E.ON hikes bills by £110, is this the last energy rise this winter?

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The winter of discontent continues for consumers as the last of Britain’s big six energy suppliers pushes its prices up this Friday, 18 January.

E.ON will be hiking its gas and electric prices by 8.7%, forcing its average dual fuel bill up by £110 to £1,370 a year, making it the most expensive supplier on the market for those still paying by cash and cheque. Those who pay by direct debit will fare better with a new annual bill size of £1,261 a year.

The move completes a round of winter price hikes that has taken the average household energy bill to a record high of £1,352 a year, with increases of 7.4% or £94 on average wiping out previous price cuts averaging 2.7% or £34, earlier in the year.

Higher costs taking their toll

uSwitch estimates that the hikes have added £935 million onto household energy bills and pushed a further 388,500 households into fuel poverty.

This has led to an explosion in consumers rationing their energy usage and making drastic cutbacks as they attempt to avoid running up hefty bills. Almost nine in ten households (87%) are expected to be rationing their energy use this winter because of cost, while last winter three quarters of households (75%) – potentially 19.5 million – went without heating at some point to keep their energy costs down.

And there could be more to come. Price pledges from suppliers are limited in duration – SSE has guaranteed not to increase its prices again until at least the second half of 2013, while small supplier Co-operative Energy has frozen its prices until April this year.

But Britain’s biggest supplier, British Gas, has openly warned that the cost of upgrading the national grid along with Government policies could see bills increasing again this year by a further £60. That would take the average annual household energy bill to over £1,400 this year.

Wrapped up‘Affordability ceiling’

Research suggests that there is an upper limit on energy bills beyond which the majority of consumers will start to suffer – and this limit is £1,500 a year. If bills do hit over £1,400 a year in 2013 then Britain will be less than £100 short of hitting this ‘affordability ceiling’ at which almost six in ten households (59%) will be going without adequate heating and almost four in ten (36%) will be forced to turn their heating off entirely.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, says: “Consumers are now facing the cold reality of record-high energy bills this winter. Affordability is a massive concern as households struggle to come to terms with an average energy bill of over £1,300 a year.

“And this is just an average – many larger households or families could be trying to cope with far more. This is why we have seen an explosion in the numbers rationing their energy use and even choosing to go without heat in an attempt to keep a lid on costs.

“The thought of further price hikes will chill consumers to the core.”

“The fact is that we are now just a heartbeat away from hitting an ‘affordability ceiling’. When the average household energy bill hits £1,500 a year, six in ten households will be going without adequate heating and almost four in ten will be going without heat entirely. The health and welfare implications are huge and this has got to set Government alarm bells ringing.”

“It is also a wake-up call for consumers – the high cost of energy means that we have to adapt our behaviour and take a couple of simple but effective steps to protect ourselves. We can all cut our energy bills substantially by making sure our homes are as energy efficient as possible and by making sure we are paying the lowest possible price for the energy we use.

Average household energy bills:


Current bill size

New bill size

British Gas



EDF Energy


















Based on a medium user consuming 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas with bill sizes averaged across all regions.
  • i holden

    Its just theft

  • oldman

    All these foreign companies, we are subsidising their
    countries bills.

  • Big Al

    Bring on global warming thats the answer. Cant wait. The sooner the better.