More energy price hikes ‘imminent’

SSE, one of the UK's largest energy companies, has raised its household electricity and gas tariffs by an average of 8.2 per cent.

The firm sai…

SSE, one of the UK's largest energy companies, has raised its household electricity and gas tariffs by an average of 8.2 per cent.

The firm said the changes have been brought in as the cost of buying wholesale energy is increasing, as is the amount of money it costs to deliver it to customers' homes.

SSE said its average annual dual fuel energy bill would increase by £106 on November 15th 2013, making the total £1,380.

Worryingly, consumer groups believe this is just the beginning and now expect affordable energy to be a thing of the past.

The other main energy firms are expected to follow suit and will likely cite the same reasons as SSE, with government-imposed levies collected through energy bills also being a popular excuse.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "[SSE's] price rise will be a blow for stretched budgets. The hike comes at a time when some working households are turning to food banks to feed their families as they struggle to cope with the rising cost of living."

She went on to say further increases "will push people into poverty" and called for other energy companies to take into account the fact people are struggling to get by in the UK.

One piece of good news from SSE is its pledge not to raise prices again before Autumn 2014 at the earliest. It is urging any customer concerned about how the changes will impact them to get in touch to discuss what help is available to them.

It is important for people struggling to cover the cost of rising energy bills to act quickly before the prospective price hikes that may be on the horizon.

Indeed, MoneySuperMarket recently called on individuals and families who are still paying their provider's standard prices to make the switch sooner rather than later to ensure they beat any increases.

For example, shopping around utility firms for the best deal is essential and finding a tariff that lock the price for a set period of time is essential in keeping household costs down. Consumer groups are urging individuals to make the changes before it is too late as a price increase similar to that implemented by SSE could be catastrophic for their finances.

It is imperative people take advantage of the best tariffs while they are available and it appears they are soon to become very rare.

The calculations from the price comparison website revealed that if the predicted price hikes by the major six energy firms in the UK average the same as last year, the 12.6 million standard energy customers in the country would be hit by a collective £1.4 billion rise to the cost of their yearly bills. 

Energy has become one of the biggest household expenditures in recent years and people are already finding it hard to cover the cost. Those in debt must act fast or they may find themselves owing more money to more organisations.

By Amy White

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