According to Energyhelpline.com, electricity and gas central heatingbills will exceed £1,400 a year if energy suppliers follow SSE in raising tariffs.
A spokesperson for Energyhelpline.com said: “Cash-strapped consumers face an additional bill of £3 billion as energy companies prepare to follow SSE’s suit, ditching low-cost, fixed-priced tariffs at the height of winter”.
SSE increased its tariffs by 9 per cent last month, causing outrage among customers and prompting renewed calls for tighter regulation of the domestic energy market. Energyhelpline.com director Mark Todd believes all energy suppliers in the UK will soon match or exceed SSE’s 9-per-cent price hike, leaving households with a combined annual fuel bill of £1,428.
Mr Todd added: “Compare this increase to the plodding rises in pay – just 1.6 per cent in the last year – and this puts into stark contrast the situation faced by consumers bearing the brunt of austerity coupled with a burgeoning cost of living”.
Putting Energyhelpline.com’s figures into perspective, the average annual bill in 2005 was just £765, which means that bills have increased by 87 per cent in the past seven years.
The prediction by Energyhelpline.com follows a Which? report that revealed energy suppliers are withdrawing their cheapest tariffs from the market.
Most notably, Scottish Power has removed its Online Fixed Price January 2014 deal, which limited annual bills to just £1,052, whilst EDF Energy has withdrawn its popular Blue Price Promise tariff, which was unique in that it notified customers of cheaper deals elsewhere.
The disappearance of low-cost tariffs and the promise of record-high bills suggest that energy consumers are in for a rough ride this winter. Fuel poverty is likely to claim more victims as millions of households in the UK are forced to choose between purchasing adequate food and energy each month.
Savings can be made on fuel bills by improving energy conservation and efficiency. Installing double glazing, loft insulation and cavity wall insulation can reduce the amount of heat that is lost from a property. If less heat is lost, less energy is required to maintain a comfortable temperature. Likewise, ensuring that electrical devices are switched off and not left on standby can save a small amount of money each month.