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Energy price cap rise: seven million customers due to pay more from 1 April

British Gas, Eon, EDF Energy, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE and Utilita are all raising prices for customers on out-of-contract gas and electricity deals. Here's what you should do to dodge a bigger bill

Energy price cap rise: seven million customers due to pay more from 1 April

From 1 April, customers on standard tariffs with seven of the biggest energy providers will see their prices rise. But there’s still time to avoid your bills increasing, if you act soon.

The price cap, which limits the amount firms can charge for standard tariffs, is increasing. That means energy firms can up the rates – adding around £95 to a household’s bill per year, based on using a medium amount of gas and electricity.

If you’re on one of these tariffs, there’s still time to switch to beat the bill increase. Often, you don’t need to leave your supplier to save money. But you’ll probably be able to find bigger savings if you do switch to a new provider.

We’ve calculated that those on one supplier’s standard tariff risk overpaying by around £200 per year.

Keep reading to see which energy firms are raising their prices and what you need to do now.

Or, use our independent switching service, Which? Switch, to compare gas and electricity prices and find the cheapest deal for you.

Woman sitting at a laptop frustratedApril 2021 energy price rises

British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, Scottish Power, SSE and Utilita are all set to increase the prices of their standard tariffs to the maximum allowed on 1 April 2021.

Smaller suppliers Igloo and So Energy are also raising the prices of their standard tariffs, although they’ll still cost less than the price cap. British Gas Evolve is raising its prices in line with British Gas.

Standard tariffs are also known as default tariffs or out-of-contract tariffs. You’re likely to be on one if you haven’t switched energy supplier or tariff in a while, or didn’t choose a new deal when your last fixed-term deal ended.

The table below shows how much you’ll overpay by staying on a standard tariff compared with the company’s cheapest deal, for each one that is raising its prices. These prices are for customers paying by direct debit.

Energy company Price rise on default tariff (per year) Price difference between default tariff and cheapest deal (per year)
British Gas £95 £203
British Gas Evolve £95 £182
EDF Energy £94 £101
Eon £94 £191
Igloo Energy £76 £3
Npower £94 £116
Scottish Power £94 £185
So Energy £36 £72
SSE £94 £107
Utilita £95 £96

Savings are based on a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity (12,000kWh and 2,900kWh respectively per year, according to energy regulator Ofgem), paying by direct debit. Prices are from Energylinx and correct on 2 March 2021.

Price rises for prepayment meter energy customers

If you have a prepayment meter, the same companies are increasing their prices. But the savings you’ll miss out on by staying on an out-of-contract tariff are different. This is because the price cap and cheapest tariffs for prepayment meter customers are different.

Energy company Price rise on default tariff (per year) Price difference between prepayment default tariff and cheapest deal (per year)
British Gas £87 £0
EDF Energy £87 £115
Eon £87 £0
Npower £87 £0
Scottish Power £87 £0
SSE £87 £0
Utilita £87 £89

Savings are based on a household using a medium amount of gas and electricity (12,000kWh and 2,900kWh respectively per year, according to energy regulator Ofgem), pre-paying for energy. Prices are from Energylinx and correct on 2 March 2021.

Some companies aren’t currently selling cheaper prepayment tariffs. If yours is one of these, you should be able to save money on energy by switching. The cheapest widely available prepayment deal on sale now costs £171 less per year than the new price cap.

Exactly how much money you might be able to save depends on how much gas and electricity you use. Use Which? Switch to find the cheapest prepayment tariff for your household.

Find out more about prepayment meters, including how to change to a direct debit tariff.

Energy pylons in the mistWhy now is the time to switch energy supplier or tariff

It’s just under a month until the energy firms listed above will raise the prices of their standard tariffs. This is about the same length of time it takes for energy companies to complete your switch. So acting now will mean you beat the price rises.

It can take less than half an hour to choose a new supplier or tariff and apply to switch. The rest of the time is made up of:

  • 14 day cooling-off period (allowing you to change your mind and easily reverse the switch)
  • 16 days on average to switch electricity supplier
  • 18 days on average to switch gas supplier.

Your electricity and gas switches take place at the same time. These figures are averages from energy regulator Ofgem. Many firms will complete your switch faster than this.

If your switch isn’t completed within 15 days, you are due £30 compensation from the new supplier.

To get started, follow our guide to switching energy supplier.

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