Bills could soar within weeks by more than £130 a year as suppliers scramble to make up for a dip in their profits. Analysts say the firms were hit by the unusually mild winter. At the same time customers have left the Big Six suppliers for cheaper deals. Only last week British Gas parent company Centrica reported a drop in takings for the first half of the year.
Last autumn the Big Six – SSE, British Gas, Eon, Scottish Power, npower, and EDF Energy – all announced price rises that resulted in higher bills for millions of households.
Now all except SSE, which has pledged a price freeze until 2016, could be gearing up to hit customers with further increases, said Mark Todd, director of energy supply switching site energyhelpline. The “worst-case scenario” would be a 10 per cent rise, he said, pushing the average annual dual fuel bill to around £1,450. Mr Todd said: “There is certainly a risk that price rises could come as early as September as the suppliers try to get their profits back up. Last year the first round of rises happened in October. We could see them come earlier this year.
“I think we are looking at a five to 10 per cent rise, the worst case scenario would be 10 per cent which would add £130 on to the average dual fuel bill.”
Mr Todd warned that if rises continue an average gas and electricity bill could hit £3,000 by 2020.
Rises this autumn will hit people hardest if there is a repeat of the severe winter of two years ago.
Source: Daily Express
According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, energy use by households “tends to closely reflect weather patterns”. This is particularly true of home heating oil where more fuel is used as the temperature on the thermostat is increased. In order to help reduce the cost of your Winter bill it is always a good idea to buy in the warmer months when home heating oil demand is lower and home heating oil prices therefore cheaper.