Household energy bills rise by 3% in July as switching activity spikes

energy bills
(Image credit: Getty Images)

According to data from MoneySupermarket, the average cost of an energy bill in the UK rose by 3 per cent in July. This means that the average energy bill for a UK household is now £835 a year, up from £810 in April.

Since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a UK-wide lockdown on March 23, the cost of energy has gradually fallen as businesses and offices have used less power.

However, now Britain is returning to the ‘new normal’, businesses are beginning to reopen and those savings are vanishing, with the cost of household bills rising as a result. In total, it’s thought that these price rises could cost UK households an additional £300 per year.

Brits are making the switch

Some 11 million households in the UK are on what’s known as a ‘standard variable tariff’, where the cost of energy goes up and down to reflect the market rate. As these tariffs are usually much more expensive than fixed-term tariffs, millions of households in the UK could be at risk of overpaying for energy if the price continues to rise. 

According to Energyhelpline, the cheapest deals are currently 16-18 per cent lower than this time last year, so changing your tariff could save you a great deal of money even if you switched energy supplier last year.

The easiest way to find the best energy deals in your area is to run an online energy price comparison. You'll be shown how much you could save by switching to each, and if you see a tariff you like, the service will handle the switch for you. The whole thing should take no more than 21 days thanks to the Energy Switch Guarantee, which most energy companies have signed up to.

Given the sizeable savings possible from switching provider, it’s unsurprising that over three million Brits changed provider during the first half of 2020 according to Energy UK. Of these, 450,000 consumers switched energy provider in June alone.

Top money saving tips

If you’ve switched provider but you’re looking for even more ways to save on your energy bills, there are a number of easy ways you can do just that. For example:

  • Turning the thermostat down by 1°C could save you up to £80 per year 
  • Turning your desktop computer or laptop off rather than leaving it on standby could save you £75 per year
  • Only filling your kettle with the amount of water you actually need could save up to £20 a year

By making these three simple changes alone, you could reduce your energy bills by £175 every year.

Bear in mind that despite rising energy prices, the cheapest energy deals are still lower than they were this time last year. That means there's now a golden opportunity to find a deal that could save you hundreds of pounds, before tariffs return to their previous levels. 

Find the best energy deal for your homeSave money now

Find the best energy deal for your home
TechRadar has partnered with MoneySupermarket to help you find the best energy deals in your area. Our energy comparison tool takes less than five minutes to use, and could save you hundreds on your energy bills. Save money now

Tom Brook

Tom is a freelance copywriter and content marketer with over a decade of experience. Originally from an agency background, he is proud to have worked on campaigns for a number of energy providers, comparison sites and consumer brands.