STANDARD tariffs with the Big Six energy firms are now identical — prompting claims they are running a cartel.
SSE increased its prices by 10.3 per cent to £1,254 yesterday after four others had done the same over the past couple of weeks.
All six energy firms now charge the same for their standard variable tariffs
And British Gas raised its price by 10.5 per cent this week to bring its tariff in line with so-called competitors.
The six — which make up three quarters of the market — are taking advantage of regulator Ofgem hiking the price cap for the first time since its introduction at the start of the year.
The suppliers also put their prices within £2 of one another when the maximum was first brought in.
The cap was designed to prevent those who do not switch to better deals from being overcharged.
How to switch suppliers and save SWITCHING suppliers is the best way you can cut your energy bills. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Shop around – If you’re on an expensive Standard Variable Tariff (SVT) deal you are throwing away up to £300 a year. Use a comparison site like MoneySuperMarket.com or EnergyHelpline.com to see what best deals are available to you.
The cheapest deals are usually found online and are fixed deals – meaning you’ll pay a fixed amount usually for 12 months.
2. Switch – When you’ve found one, all you have to do is contact the new supplier.
It helps to have the following information to hand – which you can find on your bill – to give the new supplier:
Name of your existing supplier
Name of your existing deal and how much you pay
An up-to-date meter reading
It will then notify your current supplier and begin the switch.
It should take no longer than three weeks to complete the switch and your supply won’t be interrupted in that time.
For more advice read our guide on how to switch.
But point out that the increases, which take effect on April 1, come despite wholesale energy costs falling by 16 per cent since September.
Hayden Wood, of challenger firm Bulb, said: “We can’t believe the Big Six are once again ganging up around the price cap and squeezing every last penny they can out of their customers.
“It’s clear their tariffs don’t represent good value. The price cap should be a limit, not a target.”
I saved £372 with SwitchcraftTEACHER Peter Fox, 36, saved £372 when he switched through Switchcraft.Peter, who lives in Stockton-on-Tees, said: “There’s no need to do anything really, I found Switchcraft dead easy, really straight forward, and it was an extremely quick way to switch supplier.
“For very little effort I’ve saved £372 and I’ve been moved onto the renewable energy provider, Pure Planet, which is an extra bonus”.He now plans to use the money he saved towards a holiday to Las Vegas with his wife Catherine, 34.
Sign up, compare and switch with Switchcraft – and get £5 FREE cashback too.
A fiver will be paid into your bank account within four months of completing the switch. prepayment meter customer customers will receive a £5 Amazon voucher. Open to those 18 and over. UK residents only. Click here for full T&Cs.
Households can avoid the hikes by switching deals – and save up to £324 by ditching their supplier.
Richard Neudegg from uSwitch.com said: “Energy customers should be under no illusion that these standard tariffs represent a good price for energy.
“We could be looking at a total price rise of almost £1.7 billion – one of the biggest hikes on one day in nearly a decade.”
If you are considering changing your supplier, then these are the cheapest tariffs you can switch to ahead of Ofgem’s price cap.
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Yesterday, we reported how the Committee on Climate Change has made recommendations for new homes to be built without boilers, gas hobs and gas radiators in a bid to cut down on carbon emissions.
Here’s how often you need to get your boiler serviced and who to call when there’s a problem.
But we’ve found that engineers are charging up to £3,200 MORE for the SAME boiler – here’s how you can save.
Ofgem video explains how the energy safeguard tariff or price cap works
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