This month sees 86 fixed energy plans coming to an end, adding an estimated £28 million to energy bills across the country, according to new Uswitch research.
Approximately 200,000 households’ energy bills are affected — roughly equivalent to the population of Edinburgh.
Those on the affected energy plans will automatically be rolled onto their supplier’s standard variable tariff once their fixed deal ends this month.
With these default tariffs usually the most expensive on offer from their supplier, the average affected household will see their energy bills increased by £140. Some could even see their annual energy costs increased by more than a third (36%).
The biggest bill shock is likely to be felt by customers of Together Energy, with their bills expected to increase by an average of £302 when rolling onto a default tariff. Peterborough Energy customers are set for a £258 hike if they don’t switch away from their supplier’s standard variable tariff.
Among the big six suppliers, Scottish Power customers could see bills hiked by £210 and British Gas customers could pay £133 more if they don’t switch plans.
Rik Smith, energy expert at Uswitch, said: “Those affected should have received a letter over the Christmas period telling them their bills will go up, but understandably there are other distractions at that time of year. However, it’s vital they now take action and lock in a new fixed deal.”
Do what the price cap won't - fix your energy costs today
Energy users that decide not to switch away from their default plan could face a double whammy of bill increases thanks to a price cap rise expected next week.
A new energy price cap was introduced at the beginning of the year, limiting the amount a supplier can charge per unit for their default tariff. With the price cap at £1,137 per year for the average user, the cap is £165 more expensive than the cheapest fixed deal on the market.
Energy regulator Ofgem is expected to raise the level of the energy price cap on 7 February by an estimated £80-£100, with the changes set to come into effect in April.
Rik Smith said: “Around 200,000 households will see their energy deal end this month and with the threat of price hikes around the corner they are set for a double blow unless they take action.”
He added that if customers switch to a fixed energy deal now, “Not only will they save money straight away, they’ll also protect themselves from the inevitable wave of price rises that will hit on 1 April.”