Cash-strapped consumers face an additional bill of £3 billion as energy companies prepare to follow SSE’s suit, ditching low-cost, fixed-priced tariffs at the height of winter, according to predictions from industry experts energyhelpline.com.
With SSE recently announcing nine per cent price hikes and EDF Energy, First Utility and Scottish Power all ditching fixed-rate tariffs in the last week, UK consumers will be hit with record-breaking energy bills in a financially frosty winter.
The predicted price rises will see the average UK family forced to find an extra £118 per year for its energy bills
The Battle for Lower Bills
Mark Todd, director of independent price comparison service Energyhelpline.com, said: “Now really is the last chance-saloon for consumers to win the battle of the bills before more suppliers pull the better-deal tariffs and prepare for January price hikes. We predict that by the New Year all the major suppliers will follow SSE’s lead and announce price increases of at least nine per cent. If consumers want to start 2013 with a healthy bank balance now is the time to switch.”
Big Profits for Suppliers
In a further blow to consumers, Ofgem figures show that since January 2011 whilst the average electricity usage has remained steady, gas usage has decreased by 20 per cent. So whilst tariffs have continued to rise, the amount users actually get for their money has dramatically decreased. In short, bigger profits for suppliers and a worsening deal for customers.
Mark Todd added:
“In the last 7 years energy prices have nearly doubled. In 2005 the average bill was £765, now we are facing bills in excess of £1400. Compare this increase to the plodding rises in UK pay, just 1.6 per cent in the last year and this puts into stark contrast the situation faced by consumers bearing the brunt of austerity coupled with a burgeoning cost of living. Consumers must act now if they are to take control and get the best deals before they all disappear.”
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