Price freeze ends with average 9.4% increases for gas and 7.7% for electricity
Energy giant E.ON became the last of the big six energy companies to announce price increases last week, signalling an end to the price freeze it has in place for 2012. The firm will put gas prices up by an average of 9.4% on 18 January, while electricity prices will rise by an average of 7.7%.
The typical dual fuel customer will see their bills go up by 8.7%, adding more than £100 to the average annual bill. Direct debit customers will see bills rise from £1,160 to £1,261 a year, while those paying by cash or cheque will pay £1,370, up from £1,260.
Now that all the major energy companies have announced rises, it makes it easier for householders to compare the best energy deals. Top of the table currently is Sainsbury’s with its Price Check tariff, which works out at £1,157 a year for an average household taking both gas and electricity paying by monthly direct debit. However, the tariff works by tracking the cheapest standard dual fuel direct debit tariff rates of all major suppliers at average consumption, so the price could go up shortly. It has not yet increased despite the recent round of price rises across the major suppliers.
Next cheapest, according to theenergyshop.com, is the Co-op’s energy tariff at £1,157. Npower comes in at number three, but its tariff includes a £105 discount householders only get at the end of a year.
Fixed-price tariffs, which guarantee the monthly price you signed up for will remain unchanged for, typically, a year, have also increased in recent months. The cheapest is now from Ovo at a typical £1,172 a year; EDF’s Price Promise tariff is not far behind at £1,182.
“People interested in a fixed-price tariff should check the cost of both of these for their postcode as prices can vary regionally,” said Joe Malinowski of theenergyshop.com. “Fixed tariffs are more expensive, but British Gas has already said it expects infrastructure costs to add another £60 to bills next year, so householders need to decide whether they want to pay a premium now for price certainty.”