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Avoiding the energy tariff rise

Category: Public/Communities

Date: 19.04.2017

Time: 14.57

Household energy bills are on the rise again, after five of the big six companies have raised their standard variable tariffs. As the big six occupy 84% of the market, and approximately 70% of their customers are still on the expensive standard tariffs, this will almost certainly affect someone you know.

There are better alternatives, for example, our Warm Homes South Holland project helped Mrs Maxwell from Spalding save £199 simply by upgrading to a one-year fixed tariff with her current supplier.

All the information you need to do a tariff comparison is in the “About your tariff” section of an energy bill. If you’re a prepayment customer and haven’t got an annual summary, there’s a good chance your on the standard tariff and can estimate by your weekly payments.

Try our impartial switching service and sister company Green Energy Switch to compare the energy market: https://save.greenenergyswitch.co.uk/?db=dual

In more positive news Ofgem, the gas and electric industry regulator has introduced a prepayment meter price cap. As of April 1st 2017 energy companies will only be able to charge domestic prepayment customers a maximum price set by Ofgem, in line with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) recommendations set in their two-year review of the market.

These rates vary by region and will be updated every 6 months on April 1st and October 1st, with the temporary cap expected to expire at the end of 2020, which can be viewed here:

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/system/files/docs/2017/02/prepayment_price_cap_-_1_april_2017.pdf

This temporary cap is in line with the Smart Meter rollout completion, with the assumption being that increased competition from easier switching will lower the market price.

Overall, this is a step in the right direction. It is a disappointment that prepayment customers pay an average of £220 more than those on the cheapest deals by direct debit, and yet are very often those least able to afford it.

Sam Bosson is Environmental Consultant at PECT

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