SSE is the last of the Big Six firms to announce a price rise in 2019, adding roughly 10% to two million customers’ bills. But you can still save money – up to £348 per year – by switching energy supplier.
As with the other energy firms, SSE will increase its gas and electricity prices to the maximum permitted under the price cap from 1 April.
This equates to £117 per year extra on the bills of customers who use a medium amount of gas and electricity. Overall, these customers’ bills will cost up to £1,253 per year.
British Gas and Scottish Power both announced similar price rises earlier this week, following EDF Energy, Eon and Npower’s announcements last week. In total, energy customers will pay over £1bn extra for energy after 1 April.
Read on to find out if you’re affected by SSE’s price rise, plus what you can do to cut your energy bills.
Use Which? Switch, our independent energy comparison service, to compare gas and electricity prices and find the best deal for you. You can phone on 0800 410 1149 or 01259 220235.
SSE’s energy price rise: are you affected
The price increase applies if you’re on SSE’s standard variable tariff. This is the one you’re most likely to be on if you have not switched energy firm or tariff, or you took no action when your last fixed deal with SSE finished.
If so, your bill will increase by 10% on average from 1 April. This adds up to £117 per year for a household which uses a medium amount of energy, but your exact bill will depend on how much gas and electricity you use.
Other variable tariffs from SSE will also be affected by the price rise. These include:
- Avois Standard
- Energyplus Argus Standard
You can check the name of your tariff on your latest bill or online account.
If you are on a fixed deal, you won’t be affected by the price rise until the end of your contract. But if you are on one of the affected tariffs, you have until 1 April to switch.
Find out what SSE’s customers think of it, compared with other energy companies.
What is the energy price cap?
At the start of the year, the government introduced a price cap on energy for customers on standard or default energy tariffs. These are out-of-contract deals that you’ll likely to be on by default, rather than by having chosen them, and they’re usually among the pricier tariffs available.
The price cap limits the amount customers can be charged per unit of electricity and gas used. Your actual bill depends on your total usage.
At the moment, the price cap is set at £1,137 per year for a medium dual-fuel user. From 1 April the energy price cap will be increased to £1,254 per year.
All of the Big Six energy companies have now said that they’ll increase prices for customers to within £1 of the cap.
Which? comment on SSE’s price rise
Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: ‘Inevitably, SSE has fallen in line with the rest of the ‘Big Six’. Two in five UK households will now be collectively hit with a billion pound price hike when their energy bills increase on the 1st of April.
‘This is a huge blow for those who thought they would be protected by the regulator’s price cap. Anyone staring down the barrel of this sharp rise should look to switch to a better deal now – before their bills go up.’
Five ways to save money on gas and electricity now
- Switching energy supplier or tariff is the most effective way to save money. Medium users could save up to £348 in a year, compared with the level of the new price cap, by switching to the cheapest deal on the market. Find out how to switch energy firm.
- Use your thermostat effectively to make sure your only heating parts of your home you use, and to comfortable temperatures.
- Replace old-style light bulbs with energy-saving LEDs. This could cut roughly £200 from your energy bills.
- Cut draughts by adding insulation where you don’t have it, and blocking up gaps around your windows, doors and floorboards where heat escapes. Read our draught-proofing guide.
- Only run your washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer when they’re full, or dry clothes outside if possible.
Need more ideas? Read our guide on 10 ways to cut your energy bills.
Which? energy pricing research
Prices are based on a dual-fuel tariff available in all regions in England, Scotland and Wales paying by monthly direct debit, with paperless bills.
Energy usage is based on Ofgem’s annual average figures for a medium user (12,000kWh gas and 3,100kWh electricity). Data is from Energylinx. Prices given are averages across regions, are rounded to the nearest whole pound and correct on 20 February 2019.