Press release:

Energy bills to increase by £16 million as flurry of fixed tariffs come to an end on 31st January

  • 47 fixed price energy deals from 13 suppliers end in January[1]
  • The average increase is £114, but some customers could see price hikes of over £190 per year (19%) if they roll onto costly Standard Variable Tariffs (SVTs)[3]
  • ‘Longest payday wait’ and festive overspending puts extra pressure on UK households[4]

142,000 households[2] could see their bills skyrocket by as much as £190 annually (19%)[3] as 47 fixed price deals come to an end this month[1], according to new data from uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service.

With the Office of National Statistics showing credit card debt continuing to rise [4], and the typical household spending over £800 extra last December[5], uSwitch is warning bill payers to review their current energy tariffs to avoid even more pain this year in the form of a £16 million bill shock[2].

This is set to add to the new year struggles of UK households as the longest wait for payday all year continues: research shows that half of those already in debt find themselves in an even worse financial position following Christmas, with 20 per cent worried they will be unable to recover[6].

Customers who don’t move to a cheaper deal will typically be rolled onto their supplier’s default, or ‘Standard Variable’ tariff, which are among the worst value energy plans on the market. The average increase will be £114 per household, but those supplied by EDF, Shell Energy and Scottish Power will see even greater hikes of £192, £175, and £146 respectively[7].

Ofgem is expected to announce at the beginning of February that the price cap will decrease a little, but this lower rate won’t take effect until 1st April. Even if the cap is reduced, those energy customers on default tariffs could still be overpaying by around £300 a year.

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “People are already feeling the strain on their wallets after Christmas, and the last thing they need is for their energy bill to shoot up. Anyone whose fixed energy deal is coming to an end soon will be rolled on to an expensive Standard Variable Tariff if they don’t choose a new, cheaper plan. So now is the time to take action.

“In the past six months we’ve seen the lowest-priced deals becoming even cheaper. Households can take advantage of more than 50 fixed deals available for less than £1000 per year and switch now.

“If you switch to a fixed deal this time, make sure you also sign up for a reminder to alert you when the plan is next due to expire – to keep you firmly in control of who you give your hard-earned money to.”

Energy customers can use the uSwitch online guide to find out if their deal is ending soon, and compare the best deals to move to.

— ends —

Notes to editors

  1. Source: uSwitch.com data, correct as at 8/1/2020
  2. Source: uSwitch.com data. Total bill increase (£16,177,773) calculated by multiplying the increase per tariff by the number of households affected. 
  3. Average increase per household is £113.97 (total tariff increase divided by 141,941 total households affected)
  4. Office of National Statistics debt stats released in December 19
  5. Bank of England data on Christmas spending
  6. YouGov research released December 2019
  7. See table one in body of release

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