Energy price rises: what you can doPrices rise eight times more than wages increase

21 November 2013

Cost of energy

Energy prices for major suppliers have risen by a total of 37% since October 2010

Gas and electricity prices are rising up to eight times higher than increases in average weekly earnings, according to findings by Citizens Advice.

The charity found the six major energy suppliers - British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, SSE, Scottish Power and Npower - have increased their prices by a total of 37% since October 2010, while average earnings only rose by 4.4% during the same period

Check if you’re on the best deal and compare energy prices using our free comparison service Which? Switch.

Energy price rises

When we interviewed 2,064 UK adults between 2 and 3 October 2013, we found that 69% of energy bill payers are cutting back on how much heating they use to keep costs down, and almost half (43%) are worried about getting into debt as a result of rising energy prices.

A quarter (24%) say they have taken money out of savings to pay for a bill in the last year. 

In the last few months six of biggest energy firms have announced price rises this autumn:

  • British Gas: gas up 8.4% and electricity up 10.4%
  • EDF: gas and electricity up 3.9%
  • Npower: gas up 11.1% and electricity up 9.3%
  • SSE: gas and electricity up 8.2%
  • Scottish Power: gas up 8.5% and electricity up 9%
  • Eon: gas up 4.6% and electricity up 3.7%

Find out more with our guide to energy price rises.

Save cash on your energy bill

If you’re worried about the size of your bills, there are also plenty of ways to save energy and cut costs. For example:

Turn down your thermostat: reducing room temperatures by just 1ºC can cut heating bills by around £65 a year according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Use energy saving-light bulbs: if you replace all the light bulbs in your house with energy saving ones, you could save about £60 a year. Read our light bulb reviews to find out which bulbs are best.

Cut draughts: stopping heat escaping could help you save around £75 a year. Use draught proofing strips around doors and windows, and block your chimney if you don’t use it. You can also use a flexible silicon-based filler to plug gaps in floorboards and skirting.

Choose energy saving appliances: replacing energy-guzzling electrical goods with more efficient ones could save hundreds of pounds a year. Our running costs calculator shows you how much you could save on each appliance, from TVs to dishwashers.

Use 30°C setting on your washing machine: turning down from 40°C to 30°C could save you between £8 and £18 per year.

Cut down energy bills

We are calling on the government to cut energy bills and energy firms down to size.

Which? is urging Chancellor George Osborne to stand up for consumers when he makes his Autumn Statement on December 5.

Find out more and pledge your support to help cut energy bills by signing up to the Cut Them Down, George campaign.

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