SSE has announced today that it will be hiking its energy prices by an average of 8.2%, in what Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says will be a ‘massive blow’ to customers.
The company, one of the UK’s biggest energy providers, said that both gas and electricity prices will rise for households.
The average increase of 8.2% is around three times the current rate of inflation and will typically add around £106 to dual-fuel customers’ annual bills.
Are you paying too much for your energy? See if you could find a cheaper deal by using our free energy-switching tool, Which? Switch, to compare energy prices.
Rising energy prices worrying consumers
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘This inflation-busting price rise will be a massive blow to SSE customers at a time when rising energy prices are consistently one of the top worries for hard-pressed consumers.
‘Current plans to reform the energy market simply don’t go far enough. We want the Government to intervene to make sure everything possible is done to keep prices in check. We need simpler pricing, we need to break the stranglehold of the biggest energy companies by separating domestic supply from generation and the Government must make sure that its own policies are not adding unnecessary costs to consumers’ bills.’
Millions of gas and electricity bills to be hit
Although customers on a fixed-price tariff won’t be affected, the announcement is expected to impact around 4.4 million electricity customers and 2.9 million gas customers. The news comes a year after SSE’s last price increase of 9%.
SSE has blamed the increase on the cost of wholesale energy and the cost of delivering it to customers, as well as government levies on energy bills.
However, the news of the increase comes less than a week after First Utility promised to fix its prices until March next year.
As Ebico purchases its fuel from SSE, prices for its customers are also set to increase by 9% for gas and 10% for electricity.
Save on your energy bills
With the cost of energy top of the list of consumer worries, it’s always worth looking at ways of cutting back on your energy bills.
The Energy Saving Trust offers a free household energy check that can help you identify areas where you can make energy-efficiency improvements and gives you an idea of how much you can save.
Making small changes in your home can also make a big difference. Reducing the temperature on your thermostat by just 1ºC can save you around £65 a year on your heating bills. Cutting down on lost heat by draught proofing doors and windows could also save you about £75 a year.
For more ideas, see our top ten tips for saving cash on energy.