Lifestyle

2018 was the worst year ever for energy price rises – these were the firms with the biggest hikes

THE past year has been the worst ever for energy price rises with almost one billion pounds added to household bills, new research has found.

In fact, families across the UK have been slapped with price hikes by 57 suppliers since the start of the year, compared to just 15 in 2017.

This has added £840million to people's energy bills, the equivalent of £74 per household, auto-switching service Look After My Bills claims.

While British Gas has upped prices for households twice, the worst of the so-called Big Six came from Scottish Power which raised prices by more than £109, according to the firm.

But overall, smaller suppliers were the worst offenders, with Economy Energy raising bills by £311 in one move.

At least three more price rises are already confirmed for next year for Outfox the Market, Fischer Energy and Pure Planet, Look After My Bills said.

Outfox the Market is increasing the average cost of its "Blast" tariff by £140 per year from January 1, while Pure Planet will charge its 100 Per Cent Green customers an additional £77 from January 15.

The exact price hike by Fischer Energy is yet to be confirmed.

The report comes after seven household energy suppliers collapsed this year due to rising wholesale prices and tougher regulation.

Meanwhile, the price cap announced by regulator Ofgem last month will come into force next week.

Lily Green, head of research at Look After My Bills, said: "This has been the worst year on record for price rises.

"2018 has been a kick in the teeth for British households."

"It seems energy companies are spooked by the impending price cap and are setting prices high while they can.

"Small and large energy companies are raising prices across the board and not just once – but two or three times a year.

"People can’t be expected to keep up with it all."

The Sun has contacted both Economy Energy and Scottish Power for a comment, and we will update this article if we hear back.

How to save on your energy bills

SWITCHING energy providers can sound like hassle – but fortunately it’s pretty straightforward to change supplier – and save lots of cash.

1. Shop around – If you're on an SVT deal you are likely throwing away more than £300 a year. Use a comparion site such as MoneySuperMarket.com or EnergyHelpline.com to see what deals are available to you.

The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed deals – meaning you'll pay a fixed amount usually for 12 months.

2. Switch – When you've found one, all you have to do is contact the new supplier.

It helps to have the following information – which you can find on your bill –  to hand to give the new supplier.

  • Your postcode
  • Name of your existing supplier
  • Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
  • An up-to-date meter reading

It will then notify your current supplier and begin the switch.

It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won't be interrupted in that time.

 

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Households are being urged to act now to see if they can switch and save – you could cut your energy bills by hundreds doing so.

You can also save cash on your electricity bills by cutting your usage with these simple steps.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of pensioners will miss out on up to £300 in winter fuel payments this winter.

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