Press release:

Challenger suppliers respond to new price cap level with more bill hikes – and one price cut

  • OVO Energy announces a 10%[1] price rise for 160,000[2] customers on standard variable tariffs – adding £18 million to bills across the country[3]
  • The increase will also affect customers on its community brands, including Peterborough Energy, Fairerpower, Southend Energy and EnergySW[1]
  • Bristol Energy, Tonik and TOTO have announced increases of up to £144 for their credit meter standard variable customers[1]
  • Prepayment customers with Bristol Energy, First Utility, Tonik and TOTO will see their bills increase by up to £108 per year[1]
  • However, Bulb is bucking the trend with an average £20 per year gas price cut[1] for its 870,000 customers[4]
  • Around 15 million standard credit and prepayment customers have had a £1.7 billion price rise confirmed for 1 April[5]
  • uSwitch urges customers to take action by switching and saving up to £324[6].

Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Challenger energy suppliers have largely followed the trend set by the Big Six and announced hikes to their standard tariffs. Against this backdrop, Bulb’s decision to cut prices is all the more eye-catching.

“Since Ofgem raised the level of the price cap, price increases have been confirmed by all of the Big Six plus nine smaller providers. More will likely follow suit before the bill hikes take effect on 1 April.

“If your supplier has priced within a few pounds of the cap, you’re on a bad deal. Over half the households in this country are already overpaying for their gas and electricity and in a month’s time they’ll be paying another £117. The only way to make sure you pay as little as possible for your gas and electricity is to switch tariff and show suppliers you won’t be taken for granted. Now is the time to take action and save over £300.”

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

— ends —

Notes to editors

  1. Source: uSwitch.com
  2. Source: Ofgem – number of non-price protected domestic customer accounts, July 2018
  3. OVO had 164,371 customers as of July 2018 x £112 = £18,409,552
  4. https://bulb.co.uk/blog/annual-update-for-members-2018
  5. Total standard variable customers with British Gas, E.ON, EDF, npower, ScottishPower, SSE, Co-operative Energy and OVO in July 2018 = 11,356,070. Customer numbers are then multiplied by the price rise for each supplier = £1,335,696,318.

Ofgem estimates that 90% (3.6 million) of the 4 million prepayment customers in Britain are on tariffs priced close to the PPM cap (p.4 State of the Energy Market report 2018). If those 3.6 million customers all see their PPM tariff increase to the level of the new PPM cap, the total increase is 3.6 million x £106 = £381,600,000.

11,356,070 standard credit SVT customers + 3.6 million PPM SVT customers = 14,956,070 £1,335,696,318 standard credit increase + £381,600,000 potential PPM increase = £1,717,296,318 potential total increase.

  1. Cheapest deal as of 22 February 2019 is £930. £1,254 (price cap level) – £930 = £324

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.

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