Households urged to act to avoid rise in energy bills

Thousand of households' energy bills could be set to rise as current deals come to an end.
Thousand of households' energy bills could be set to rise as current deals come to an end.

Thousands of households could see their energy bills increase by as much as £190 a year as 47 fixed price deals come to an end this month, according to data from a price comparison and switching service.

uSwitch.com is urging bill payers to review their current energy tariffs to avoid receiving an unwelcome shock.

Customers who don’t move to a cheaper deal will typically be rolled on to their supplier’s default – or ‘standard variable’ – tariff, which are generally among the worst value energy plans on the market.

The average increase will be £114 per household, but those supplied by by some companies could see hikes of up to £192.

Ofgem is expected to announce at the beginning of February that the price cap will decrease a little, but this lower rate will not take effect until April 1.

Even if the cap is reduced, those energy customers on default tariffs could still be overpaying by around £300 a year.

Cordelia Samson, energy expert at uSwitch.com, said: “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.”