E.ON introduces stealth increases in price
While the rest of the big six are raising the unit price of their electricity and gas, E.ON has taken a different approach. Rather, than increasing their prices directly, From the 19th April 2018 E.ON has removed discounts that it previously gave for dual fuel and paperless accounts. They have also increased their standing charge. E.ON has been criticised for the move, which energy experts have called a “stealth increase” which aims to protect the company from criticism in the media.
E.ON have tried to downplay the price hike claiming that they believe the changes will make it simpler and more accessible for customers to understand their tariffs and compare them with other suppliers in the market, the majority of whom do not offer discounts. A spokesperson for E.ON stated that:
"The impact on our customers' bills will vary depending on payment method, bill choice and fuel selection. While some customers will pay no more as a result of this change, the average impact on standard variable tariff bills will be around £22 a year."
However, this will do little to reassure E.ON’s customers, who are already paying some of the highest prices on the market.
Who will be affected?
The customers who are most affected by the increase in electricity and bills are those who are on a standard variable tariff (SVT), with dual fuel who are paying by cash or cheque. You can find out if you are on one of these tariffs by looking at your bill or contacting your supplier directly.
Standard variable tariffs track the price of energy on the wholesale market, and so your bill changes every month. Customers are usually on these standard variable tariffs because they have never switched supplier. Also, many customers end up on these tariffs by default when their fixed tariff contract ends. Customers should be very wary of ending up on these contracts as they are very expensive.
Customers who are in this situation will see their bills rise by about £30, which can be broken down as follows:
Price Rises at a Glance£20 Increase in standing charges
£20 Removal of the dual fuel discount
£10 Elimination of the discount for paperless billing
What can customers do to avoid the price hikes and save money?
There are two simple steps that you can take to make sure you are getting a better deal. First, if you don’t want to switch company, you can simply change your tariff from the standard variable tariff to a fixed contract. However, this will only yield minimal savings. The only way to really make savings is by switching supplier.
Customers can save hundreds of pounds by switching to some of the new independent suppliers. Many of these suppliers started in response to the high prices, untrustworthiness and unhelpful customer service clients experienced at the hands of the big six. Therefore, customers are not only guaranteed lower rates they will often find that they can also get better customer service and 100% renewable energy. Customers who are on one of the variable tariffs that are affected won’t have exit fees so they will be free to leave whenever they want without paying any penalties.
It only takes a few minutes to do a price comparison of the whole market and find themselves a better deal.