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Published on October 23rd, 2013 | by Pete

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Protect Yourself Against Energy Price Increases

No doubt you’ll have seen in the news over the last week or so that SSE became of the first of the big six energy providers to increase their energy prices this winter by a fairly hefty 8.2%, swiftly followed by British Gas who increased their prices by an even higher 9.2%!! It seems like a regular annual event doesn’t it? As winter creeps in, the energy companies one after another, increase their prices – just as we’re all reaching for the thermostat to turn on the heating.

This latest increase will add around £105 and £117 a year to a necessary and already expensive household bill for SSE and British Gas customers respectively, taking the overall average annual gas and electricity cost for these two suppliers from £1272 to £1383. And you can be certain that the rest of the big six providers (EDF, E.ON, npower and Scottish Power) will follow suit in the coming days and weeks with similar sized price increases of their own.

But it’s not too late to act and soften the blow of these price changes.

Take Action:

The best advice for consumers right now is fix your energy bills. Signing up to a fixed rate tariff will ensure that you are protected as much as possible from this price increase and also any future increases, up to the length of your fixed rate tariff. The best rates currently are for fixed tariffs up until winter 2014 or spring 2015 (see the table below) but there are some tariffs out there that will even fix your energy costs for over three years, way up until spring 2017.

The table below shows the current top three fixed rate energy tariffs at the time of writing and the average bill for each of these tariffs (source: UK Power fixed rate tariffs)

Supplier Name:

Tariff Name:

Average Bill:

Fixed Until:

First Utility

iSave fixed v9 April 2015

£1,170

30/04/2015

Scottish Power

Online Fixed Price Energy March 2015

£1,181

31/03/2015

EDF

Blue +Price Promise March 2015

£1,183

31/03/2015

Other Ways to Cut Your Bills:

As well as changing to a cheaper tariff you should also consider other ways to cut your bills – the primary way being using less energy around your home. Although some of the key ways of reducing gas and electricity usage require an initial financial outlay (e.g solar panels or insulation) there are also a number of easy and low cost or free ways to reduce your gas and electricity usage. These include fitting energy saving light bulbs throughout your home, turning off lights and unplugging appliances when not in use, turning the radiators off in rooms where you don’t spend a lot of time and wearing extra layers around the house rather than turning the heating on. For a wider selection of energy saving ideas check out the Energy Saving Trust’s website.

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