Energy giant SSE has become the latest and final member of the ‘Big Six’ energy firms to announce a price hike in line with regulator Ofgem’s price cap increase in April.
Over two million SSE customers will be affected, with most on the provider’s standard variable tariff, its energy assist tariff or pay as you go tariff facing paying more for their energy.
With a price hike of over 10 per cent confirmed, SSE’s SVT customers will see their annual energy bill increase by around £117 a year, bringing the average annual bill up to around the £1,254 mark.
Bill hike: Energy giant SSE has become the latest and final member of the ‘Big Six’ energy firms to announce a price hike
Customers on SSE’s energy assist tariff will see their ‘prices aligned’ to those on the SVT tariff.
This means energy assist tariff customers’ bills will rise to around £1,254. Exact bill amounts vary depending on the customer’s usage profile, metering type and payment type.
|Supplier||Tariff name||Old SVT price||New SVT price||Customers affected|
|Eon||Eon energy plan||£1,137||£1,254||1.8 million|
|EDF||Standard (Variable)||£1,136||£1,254||1.3 million|
|British Gas||Standard||£1,135||£1,254||3.9 million|
|Source: uSwitch (all prices correct as of 21 February 2019)|
Customers on SSE’s pay as you go tariff will see their annual energy bill rise by around £106 a year, bringing the total annual bill up to roughly £1,242.
Tony Keeling, SSE’s chief operating officer and co-head of retail, said: ‘We regret having to raise prices but with wholesale costs having steadily increased, as shown by Ofgem’s calculations, we need to pass these on in our prices.’
SSE’s price hikes have emerged in response to energy regulator Ofgem increasing the level of its price cap on standard and default energy tariffs and follows similar moves from British Gas and Scottish Power on Tuesday and Eon, EDF and Npower last week.
Around 11 million bill-payers are on a Big Six SVT and the hikes will mean an increase to £1,254 a year for a dual-fuel household, with typical use.
British Gas is raising its prices by 10.5 per cent, which will see the average dual fuel bill increase by £119.12 a year – costing the average SVT customer £1,254 a year.
Thanks to the size of British Gas, it will comfortably be the largest amount of people affected.
Scottish Power is also raising its prices by 10 per cent, or £117 a year, meaning its standard plan will also cost on average £1,254.
The price cap came into effect in January of this year in order to help customers who have never switched their energy suppliers.
But, blaming increased wholesale costs, Ofgem announced earlier this month that customers on standard variable tariffs will see the price cap increase by £117, or 10.3 per cent, to £1,254 per year.
Those on pre-payment plans will also see the cap increase by £106 to £1,242 per year.
The cap will be reviewed every six months with the next review due to take place in October of this year.
Consumers fed up being slapped with energy bill hikes have been urged to ditch and switch energy providers.
Some smaller energy tariffs could offer consumers cheaper bills, but it is important to remember that a string of challenger providers have collapsed in the past year or so.
|Supplier||Plan name||Tariff type||End date||Green?||Exit fees||Average bill size|
|Utility Point||UP Variable Direct Feb19||Variable||N/A||N||£0||£930|
|People’s Energy||Peoples Year Fixed (2 Months Upfront)||Fixed||12m||Y||£20 per fuel||£968|
|iSupplyEnergy||Discover Green 12 months Direct v4||Fixed||12m||Y||£30 per fuel||£985|
|Pure Planet||100% Green||Variable||N/A||Y||£0||£986|
|Avro Energy||Simple and WinterFix||Fixed||12m||N||£0||£987|
|So Energy||So Rhino – Green||Fixed||12m||Y||£5 per fuel||£987|
|Lumo||App Only Fixed v17||Fixed||12m||N||£30 per fuel||£988|
|Green Network Energy||GNE 18 Month Winter Warmer v2||Fixed||18m||N||£25 per fuel||£996|
|Zebra Power||Zebra Fixed Rate March 2020 V1||Fixed||12m||N||£30 per fuel||£999|
|Source: uSwitch (prices correct as of 19 February 2019)|
Commenting on today’s latest bill hike announcement from SSE, Hayden Wood, co-founder and chief executive of challenger energy group Bulb, said: ‘We can’t believe that the Big Six are once again ganging up around the Price Cap and squeezing every last penny they can out of their customers.
‘While they add hundreds of pounds to their customers’ bills wholesale energy costs are actually falling!
‘It’s clear Big Six tariffs don’t represent good value for their customers – the Price Cap should be a limit, not a target. We won’t be putting up our prices when the new cap level is introduced and hope to see many more vote with their feet for better value on their energy.’
Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: ‘Inevitably, SSE has fallen in line with the rest of the big six.
‘Two in five UK households will now be collectively hit with a billion pound price hike when their energy bills increase on April 1.
‘This is a huge blow for those who thought they would be protected by the regulator’s price cap. Anyone staring down the barrel of this sharp rise should look to switch to a better deal now – before their bills go up.’
Time to switch? Consumers fed up being slapped with energy bill hikes have been urged to ditch and switch energy providers
Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said: ‘It was not a case of if but when.
‘SSE has jumped on the Big Six bandwagon, hitting customers on its standard variable tariff with a 10.3% price rise.
‘The Big Six have all now brought their SVTs within a whisker of the new price cap level.
‘The most effective way to avoid being caught in this trap is to switch to a cheaper deal. The good news for the people facing these huge rises is that 90% of all fixed tariff deals currently available on the market are cheaper than the new energy price cap level and therefore also cheaper than the Big Six’s SVTs.’