SSE has become the last of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies to announce a hike in prices this year. Not only is it the last, but it’s also the biggest of them all with an increase of 6.7%. In addition the company is also removing its paperless billing discount, which could actually bring the price increase to 7.9% for some customers. According to the BBC this could mean an average £76 per year rise for 2.36 million customers across the UK.
SSE has stated that the price rise was the result of increasing costs, “largely outside our control”. Stephen Forbes, Chief Commercial Officer at the company commented:
“We deeply regret having to raise prices and have worked hard to withstand the increasing costs […] The cost of supplying energy is increasing and this ultimately impacts the prices we are able to offer customers.”
How much have the Big Six raised their prices?
The announcement of a price hike from SSE was anticipated after E.ON, British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power and npower all revealed price increases earlier this year. In the table below you can see how much each company has raised costs.
|Big Six company||Price increase|
Figures sourced from ukpower.co.uk
What can you do to beat price hikes?
Consumer publications are urging affected homeowners to compare energy suppliers to find a more competitive tariff.
In response to the latest update from SSE, Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “Anyone on a Big 6 standard tariff is ripping themselves off by failing to take action. Do-nothings pay massively more than the do-somethings. Switch firm and you could cut bills to almost £800 a year, even with the same usage. And even if for some reason you’re loyal to your current provider, almost all Big 6 suppliers have alternative tariffs over £100 a year cheaper than their standard deals. However they operate ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ policies. So at the very least, ask!”
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, had a similar response: “This latest price hike is another slap in the face for energy customers who are already feeling the pinch and can’t see any real difference in the service they’re receiving. We would urge the nine million customers affected by the Big Six price hikes to take back the power by switching to a better deal, as they could save over £400 a year.”
Home Heating Guide also encourages consumers to compare suppliers and find the deal most suitable (and most cost effective!) for their home. You can find out more about this in our guide to switching energy suppliers in 2018.