Press release:

19 energy suppliers give UK £590 million price rise bill

  • 19 energy suppliers have issued 21 price rises so far in 2018[1]
  • The price rises will affect 11 million households by an average of £52[1], adding £590 million to the nation’s household bills[2]
  • The average standard variable energy tariff is now a whopping £1,062, which is £205 more expensive than the cheapest deal on the market[3]
  • The average big six standard tariff (£1,194) is a staggering £337 more expensive than the cheapest deal[3]
  • ON and Bulb have issued two price rises this year[1], raising concerns that others could follow suit with a double hike this year
  • Households are urged to show energy companies they won’t be taken for granted and save up to £491 by switching supplier[4].

New analysis from uSwitch.com, the comparison and switching service, has revealed that 19 energy suppliers have announced 21 price rises so far in 2018[1], adding a collective £590 million to the nation’s bills[2]. Energy companies have blamed rising wholesale costs for their need to increase prices by an average of £52 (5%)[1].

The price rises will affect 11 million households[2] by an average of £52[1] but some will see rises of up to £91[1]. Ecotricity now has the most expensive standard variable tariff at a staggering £1,258[1]. However, British Gas’ price rise of 5.5% affected the most customers – adding a collective £246 million to the bills of 4 million households up and down the country[5]. On average, standard variable tariffs are now an incredible £205 more expensive than the cheapest deal available[3].

While price rises from Britain’s biggest energy suppliers have been well publicised, challenger brands have been issuing similar hikes that have been flying under the radar – despite making up 18% of the retail energy market[6]. Price increases from providers such as First Utility, OVO and Utility Warehouse mean that in total price rises from challenger brands affect over 700,000 customers, adding a further £36 million to bills across Britain[7].

For some energy companies, one price rise simply wasn’t enough this year. Bulb and E.ON have both announced two separate increases in 2018[1] which raises the question of whether other suppliers will follow suit as wholesale prices have soared since January.

With so many price rises coming into effect – and possibly more being announced this summer – record numbers of households have taken action and switched so far this year[8]. Over 2 million customers have not only saved money on their bills but also protected themselves against further price rises. And for anyone who is still unsure about switching supplier, some extra protection is on the horizon: Ofgem is furthering plans to give compensation to people in the unlikely event something goes wrong with their switch[9], placing even greater onus on energy companies to make sure switches go right first time.

Rik Smith, uSwitch.com energy expert, says: “Price rises have been affecting customers of both large and small energy suppliers large since the tail end of 2017 and unfortunately there seems to be no end in sight. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a price rise from every energy supplier before the end of the year and maybe a second price rise from a few more – wholesale prices have simply skyrocketed over the past few months.

“However, with more price rises, more households are switching away to better tariffs, forcing suppliers to continue to compete by offering cheaper fixed deals. Now is the time to lock in as cheap a deal as possible and protect yourself against rising wholesale costs. Whether you’re with a big brand name or a small challenger supplier it’s definitely worth checking your bill to make sure you haven’t been rolled onto a standard or “temporary” tariff. This is even more important with a price cap due to come into force later this year, potentially lulling people into a false sense of security that they are on a good deal when in fact they are still on a poor value standard variable or “temporary” tariff.

“There are still plenty of cheap plans around that could save you up to £491, all for only ten minutes online, on the phone or on an app. Five million homes switched last year and it looks like even more are taking control of their bills this year. There’s no need to pay more than you need to for exactly the same gas and electricity.”

*Existing SVT customers would have no price change, new SVT customers would receive the higher tariff

**Pure Planet issued two price changes, a price rise and price cut, the table gives the net outcome

***E.On price change represents removal of £15 per fuel paperless and dual fuel discounts.

****OVO’s white label suppliers also raised their prices, due to regional variations the price rise will differ per region. Details available upon request.

Find out how you could save over £1,000 a year with uSwitch here.

 

— ends —

Notes to editors

  1. See Table 1 in body of release
  2. Customer estimates from uSwitch.com. 11,336,965 customers x £52 = £589,522,180
  3. The average SVT as of 26th June is now £1,062. The cheapest deal is £857. £1,062 – £857 = £205. The average big six SVT is £1,194. £1,194 – £857 = £337
  4. Between 1 April 2017 and 30 Sep 2017, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas & electricity with uSwitch saved £491 or more.
  5. https://www.uswitch.com/media-centre/2018/04/british-gas-announces-5-5-price-rise/
  6. https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2017/10/state_of_the_market_report_2017_web_1.pdf
  7. Customer estimates from uSwitch.com. 700,000 customers x £51 (smaller supplier average) = £35,700,000
  8. https://www.energy-uk.org.uk/press-releases/412-2018/6676-half-a-million-more-make-a-move-in-may.html
  9. https://www.uswitch.com/media-centre/2018/06/ofgem-introduce-compensation-scheme-energy-switching/

About us

Launched in September 2000, uSwitch is an online and telephone price comparison and switching service, helping consumers get a better deal on gas, electricity, broadband, TV services, mobiles and personal finance products including mortgages, credit cards, car and home insurance. Last year we saved UK consumers over £278 million on their energy bills alone.

Customers can sign up to an account that automatically monitors the energy market and notifies them when they can move to a cheaper tariff, while broadband customers can conduct a speed test to find out how fast their broadband is and identify the best deal for their postcode.

The multi award-winning 'Switching Made Simple' app allows customers to compare energy, broadband, credit card, mobile and SIM-only deals – and uSwitch also has a UK contact centre manned by energy and broadband experts. Customers can post their latest energy bills to FREEPOST USWITCH to receive a free call back and be guided through the comparison process, or they can email customerservices@uswitch.com with their postcode and usage details.

uSwitch is owned by ZPG, which operates some of the UK’s most trusted digital brands that help empower smarter property and household decisions including Zoopla, Money, PrimeLocation and SmartNewHomes.

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