SSE Price Rises
As of the 11th of July 2.36 million SSE customers, and customers who are with Marks and Spencers Energy will see their bills rise by an average of 6.7%. Customers who are currently on a dual fuel variable tariff will be affected by the rise which will see the price of electricity increase by 7.7% and gas by 5.7%.
SSE blames the price rises on the hike in wholesale energy prices and the introduction of government initiatives designed to update and decarbonise the British energy industry. Stephen Forbes, the chief commercial officer of SSE Energy Services, stated that the company had “worked hard to withstand the increasing costs that are largely outside our control by reducing our internal costs.” However, the government and many regulatory bodies such as Ofgem, feel that they aren’t doing enough. The price rises come just after the government put legislation before parliament to cap energy prices for 11 million households by the end of the year in a bid to protect those who are on lower incomes or facing fuel poverty.
Big Six price increases blow for customers
SSE isn’t the first of the big six energy suppliers to raise their prices. In March EON raised its prices by 2.6% and on the 29th May 4.1 million British Gas customers saw their variable tariff bills increase 5.5%. A move which energy regulator Ofgem labelled, “unwelcome.” The energy minister Claire Perry has expressed her disappointment with the company labelling price rises “unjustified ...when customers are already paying more than they need to be.” So far, only one of the smaller independent suppliers, Bulb Energy has increased their prices due to wholesale costs.
How to beat the SSE Price Rises
Currently in the UK nearly two thirds of households are paying too much for their gas and electricity prices. The customers who are most affected by these price increases are those who are on variable tariffs. Many customers are on these variable tariffs because they have never switched supplier. Other customers end up on these tariffs when their fixed contract ends, only to notice when there is a considerable increase in their bill.
EON, Scottish Power and British Gas have now scrapped variable tariffs for new customers, and for current customers whose fixed deal is about to end. When their contracts finish, they will be rolled onto a new 'default' fixed-rate deal. However, these default tariffs, which already had high prices, also rose yesterday by around £60. Therefore, this price hike that happens when a fixed contract ends doesn’t mean that customers will be safe from high bills. Ofgem advises customers to be very careful about being on a standard variable tariff and wherever possible make sure that they “shop around” to see if there are any better deals on the market.
Many of the smaller independent suppliers have not announced any price rises and most of them keep their prices at rock bottom due to improvements in operating costs. Many smaller energy companies such as Tonik and Toto Energy also have tariffs with 100% renewable energy making them more environmentally friendly.
Many customers are wary of switching suppliers, but the process is quick and easy and can be done remotely in most cases. Nowadays, it is also easy to find tariffs without exit fees so you can always move if you spot a better deal. It only takes a couple of minutes to do a price comparison to find the best deal on the market.