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SSE becomes the last big six supplier to announce a price rise in 2018

A price rise of 7.9% was announced by SSE, which includes the removal of paperless billing discounts

2018 - big six svt price changes
Based on the average bill size for dual fuel customers consuming medium energy usage as defined by Ofgem (3,100 kWh of electricity and 12,000 kWh of gas per year), paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless billing. Prices averaged across all regions. E.On price change represents removal of £15 per fuel online discounts. SSE price change includes removal of £6 per fuel paperless discount.

SSE has become the sixth of the Big Six to increase Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) prices in 2018. With an announced average price rise of 6.7%, the removal of its paperless billing discount sees the figure rise to 7.9% for some customers.

Around 2.4 million SSE and M&S energy customers will be affected, with 5.7% added to gas rates and 7.7% to electricity rates.

2018 Big Six price increases

Earlier this year, E.ON removed the online billing discounts it applies to some customers’ bills, adding 2.7% (£22) to the annual bill.

In April, British Gas were the first up to announce a traditional price rise, with an average bill increase of 5.5% for SVT customers. The price rise came into effect yesterday (29 May), putting an average of £60 onto a yearly dual-fuel bill.

Shortly after British Gas revealed their increase to SVT bills, EDF followed suit with a smaller hike of 1.4% on the average dual-fuel bill (the hike only affected electricity costs with a 2.7% rate increase), which is effective 7 June.

ScottishPower were up next, also with an SVT price rise of 5.5% (£63 a year extra for the average dual-fuel customer) — effective 1 June.

npower became the penultimate Big Six supplier to up their SVT rates, as from 17 June their SVT bills will increase by 5.3%, an average of £64 for dual-fuel customers.

“Eye-wateringly expensive tariffs”

uSwitch energy expert Claire Osborne, believes that the big six are not doing enough for their customers:

“SSE may be the last of the Big Six to increase its most expensive deal, but it certainly hasn’t been shy about it – hiking prices by nearly £90. This is more than all the other big energy suppliers, with the company blaming rising wholesale and policy costs.

“Nearly 2.4 million customers who are already paying over the odds on standard variable tariffs will now be paying even more. A whopping seven in ten SSE customers were on these eye-wateringly expensive tariffs at the last count, a higher proportion than any other ‘big six’ supplier.

“We’ve heard very little from any of the Big Six about what they’re doing to get households onto genuinely competitive deals. Some are paying lip-service by introducing new ‘default tariffs’ which cost almost as much, but are doing nothing to actively move existing customers from standard tariffs onto genuinely good deals.

“For many households this will be the last straw. Other suppliers are offering deals up to £407 cheaper than what SSE’s standard tariff will cost from 11 July. Anyone who is affected should join the five million households who are now switching every year, and save up to £491 by moving to a cheaper tariff.”

What’s the alternative to an SVT?

Suppliers’ Standard Variable Tariffs are often the priciest options, and are variable rate. This means that when a price rise is announced, it will affect these types of tariffs.

Fixed energy deals are often the cheapest options on the market, and lock in the rates per kWh you pay, so for the duration of the plan your energy bill won’t increase unless your usage does. When the plan ends you simply pick a new energy deal to lock in your rates again.

Many suppliers offer competitive fixed rate deals, including some larger ones. For more information on the energy tariffs, read our guide: Energy tariffs explained

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