Five of the UK’s Big Six energy suppliers have hiked the price of their cheapest fixed-rate tariffs since September, according to data from uSwitch.
On average, the UK’s major energy companies have increased their rates by an average of £129, around 16 per cent, driven by a rise in wholesale prices.
The Big Six firms consist of British Gas, E.On, EDF, npower, ScottishPower and SSE. Only British Gas was found not to have raised the price of its most competitive fixed-rate tariff, though its offering was still the most expensive of all the Big Six providers.
The price of E.On’s cheapest available tariff on 1 November was 34 per cent higher than its cheapest rate in September, uSwitch found, rising to £1,015 from £760.
The second highest riser, SSE, upped the price of its cheapest rate by 24 per cent to £970.
Seven smaller suppliers have recently increased the price of their standard variable tariffs, uSwitch found, with GB Energy hiking its rates by almost a third (29 per cent) to £1,060. Co-operative Energy, Ecotricity, Octopus Energy, Flow, So Energy and Bulb have all pumped up prices by between two and nine per cent.
“Until the start of this summer, consumers hadn’t faced significant price rises for over two years, but we are now seeing more and more increases from suppliers big and small as rising wholesale prices continue to bite,” said Claire Osborne, energy expert at uSwitch.
The rising cost of many energy tariffs underlines the need for a more competitive energy market. The Competition and Markets Authority spent two years closely examining the sector and so it’s vital that the government gives the final package, only published in June, the proper chance to work.
The CMA remedies should help more customers move away from expensive standard variable tariffs, lower bills and improve competition. Suppliers must also play their part by doing all they can to help their customers reduce their bills.
An E.On spokesperson said: “We constantly monitor the energy market and review our tariff portfolio. While E.On Fixed 1 Year v20 is our current available fixed tariff, it’s important to highlight that when a new version is launched, prices of previous fixed tariff versions are unaffected.”