New research by comparethemarket.com has revealed that almost 250,000 UK homes could see their energy bills increase by an average of £166 at the end of March.
This is because 182 fixed energy tariffs are set to finish in the next few weeks and those on these will then be automatically moved on to their supplier’s pricier standard default tariffs. What's more, the UK’s energy suppliers could be set to collectively net upwards of £41m should their customers let their tariffs be rolled on.
However, these households can easily avoid these impending price hikes if they use an energy comparison service to find a cheaper tariff, while they still have time.
- Online energy comparison: find the best deals in your area now
April will see further energy bill increases
In addition to this, those that do not switch before April also face an additional increase to their bills. This is because Ofgem, the energy regulator, recently announced that the default energy price cap will change from its current level of £1,042, to £1,138 – meaning a further price rise of £96.
The increase of £96 includes an additional £23 that the regulator has allowed suppliers to recuperate from unpaid bills from households that have experienced financial difficulty during the pandemic.
Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, offered his comments on the latest data and again stressed the importance of switching, particularly for those who may be struggling financially during the pandemic:
“Households that do not switch when their fixed tariff ends very often face a significant increase to their energy bills, as they will be automatically moved to their supplier’s higher priced standard tariffs.
“Added to this, the decision to increase the price cap will potentially add another £96 on average to the bills for those on standard tariffs from 1st April. If you are coming to the end of a fixed term period with your energy supplier, it’s the right time to take action and see if you can get a better deal by moving to another provider.
“The impact that the pandemic is having on many people’s finance is becoming particularly stark, and as our latest research shows, the price cap increase is likely to push a number of households, particularly those with children at home, further into financial difficulty.”
There’s still time to switch
If you’re on one of these affected tariffs there’s still time for you to switch. This can be done quickly with an online energy comparison tool that will list the best energy deals available right now in your area.
You can also do this if you’re already on a standard variable tariff, or even if you simply want to find a better deal than what you're currently on with your existing provider. What’s more, those who do assess the markets and switch invariably find they can make big savings and enjoy the quality service on offer from some of the UK’s best energy suppliers.
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Rich is a freelance copywriter and content strategist with over 10 years' experience. His career has seen him work in-house and in various agencies, producing online and offline content marketing campaigns and copywriting for clients in the energy industry.