16th January 2014
The last of the big six energy suppliers’ winter hikes comes into effect this Saturday 18th January. E.ON will be increasing its prices by £45 or 4% for standard direct debit customers and £14 or 1.1% for cash and cheque customers.
Comparison site uSwitch says that as with EDF Energy, E.ON has factored in Government changes to levies on bills, which has allowed it to increase prices by less than originally planned.
However, while shielding customers from higher prices for longer than its rivals, only customers on variable priced tariffs will enjoy the benefit of levy reductions.
U-switch says that this should be the last price hike this winter. All the big six suppliers have now committed to holding prices into 2015. However, most have added a caveat to say that if wholesale prices, or other costs, increase substantially and for a sustained period of time then they could still push prices up again.
While price hikes look like being over for this winter at least, three suppliers are still to pass on the levy savings to their customers – ScottishPower’s cut takes place at the end of this month, npower’s price cut becomes effective 28th February, but SSE’s customers have the longest to wait with the supplier holding fire until the end of March.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “Thankfully, price hike season looks to be over, at least for this winter. But, it is still deeply worrying that many consumers are being forced to wait until March for their supplier to pass on the Government’s levy reductions. These cuts were supposed to bring consumers much-needed relief so it is unacceptable that winter will be over before some finally get to see lower prices.
“However, the reality is that even after all the suppliers have cut their prices consumers will still be left paying over £50 a year more for their energy than in January 2013. This is why consumers have to start helping themselves by moving to dual fuel and direct debit and shopping around for a far more competitive deal. There is almost £300 difference between the cheapest and most expensive tariffs on the market, which means there is significant scope for consumers to give themselves a real price cut, especially if they look outside of the big six.”
|Supplier||Pre-hike bill||Post-hike bill||Hike effective||Bill after levy reduction||Cut effective||Reduction for fixed and variable?||Holding prices?*|
|British Gas||£1,191||£1,306||23/11/2013||£1,265||1/1/2014||Yes||Yes until Summer 2015|
|EDF Energy||£1,190||£1,237||03/01/2014||£1,237||N/A||No||Yes until 2015|
|E.ON||£1,226||£1,240||18/01/2014||£1,240||N/A||No||No guarantee but says ‘likelihood has receded for next 18 months’ (Spring 2015)|
|npower||£1,220||£1,332||01/12/2013||£1,299||28/2/2014||No||Yes, until Spring 2015|
|ScottishPower||£1,230||£1,325||06/12/2013||£1,284||31/1/2014||Yes, in part**||Yes, until 2015|
|SSE||£1,211||£1,304||15/11/2013||£1,259||24/3/2014||Yes||Yes, until Spring 2015|
Based on a medium user consuming 3,200 kWh of electricity and 13,500 kWh of gas on a standard dual fuel tariff, paying quarterly by cash and cheque, with bill sizes averaged across all regions. *Unless there are significant increases in wholesale costs. **Those on a fixed price tariff paying more than standard tariff prices will see a reduction on 31st January. 3% of fixed customers saw a reduction.