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Latest energy price rises – are you affected?

Scottish Power is the latest energy firm to put up the cost of its standard tariff, while British Gas is freezing its prices. Should you switch to British Gas?

Scottish Power is the latest energy firm to put up the cost of its standard (also known as variable) tariff. While British Gas is bucking the trend to freeze its prices.

Scottish Power has announced a 7.8% rise to its standard tariff. The move will affect 1.1 million of its customers from 31 March.

Fellow big six firms EDF and Npower have also recently announced price rises. Meanwhile, British Gas has said it will freeze the cost of its standard tariff until August.

If you’re going to be hit by price rises, switch now. There’s no exit fee on a standard variable tariff, so you’re free to switch to a cheaper deal or energy supplier to save money.

Use our independent switching site, Which? Switch, to find the cheapest energy deal

If you’d prefer to call, you can phone Which? Switch on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.

Should you switch to British Gas?

British Gas’ standard dual fuel tariff currently costs £1,044 on average per year for a household (based on Ofgem averages), and is the cheapest standard variable tariff of the big six energy suppliers (for those paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills). Although British Gas has frozen its standard tariff price until August, there’s no guarantee it won’t go up afterwards.

British Gas came fifteenth out of 23 GB energy firms included in our recent survey of nearly 9,000 energy customers. It was the second-highest-scoring of the big six energy firms, finishing slightly behind rival Eon. The highest-scoring supplier was smaller firm Ovo Energy. Which means other energy firms are rated more highly by their customers.

A price freeze doesn’t mean that British Gas is the cheapest supplier for you – British Gas also doesn’t feature in our latest round-up of the cheapest deals. We reveal the top five cheapest energy deals for February 2017.

Which? response to Scottish Power energy price rises

“Scottish Power customers will be shocked that their energy prices are increasing”

Which? response to British Gas and Scottish Power’s price announcements

Scottish Power, who came third from bottom in our recent survey of energy customers, said the price increase was due to ‘rises in the energy wholesale markets and compulsory non-energy costs’. Adding that this included costs for decarbonising electricity generation and the upgrade to smart meters.

Which? Managing Director of Home and Legal Services, Alex Neill, said: ‘While British Gas has extended its price freeze, Scottish Power customers will be shocked that their energy prices are increasing when the energy regulator has suggested that such inflation busting rises are unnecessary. Customers from both suppliers sitting on the most expensive tariffs should look to switch to better deals now.

‘Millions of hard-pressed energy bill payers are continuing to suffer due to a lack of competition in this market. If energy companies fail to properly engage with their customers, then the Government and the regulator must step in.’

Best and worst energy companies

Our biggest-ever UK energy satisfaction survey covers 23 suppliers in Great Britain and six in Northern Ireland, and captures the experiences of nearly 9,000 energy customers. Giving you the most comprehensive view of energy suppliers yet to help you choose the best and avoid the worst.

Find out where your energy supplier landed in our guide to the best and worst energy companies.

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