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Households urged to shop around for gas and electricity bills as Big

Households urged to shop around for gas and electricity bills as Big

The energy price cap will jump to £1,277 from October 1, an increase of £139 on the previous cap, and the highest level since it was introduced. Now British Gas, EDF, SSE, Scottish Power and E. On have all increased their prices right up to the level of the energy cap, leaving more than 11 million households facing inflation-busting energy bill hikes of 12.25 percent as winter looms. The price cap was designed to protect consumers who have not switched energy supplier by ensuring they pay a fair price for their energy, by setting a cap on the most expensive tariffs.

Ofgem estimates that its cap saves households between £75 and £100 a year, but it does not protect them against energy price fluctuations.

The energy price cap is reviewed every six months and energy giants also hiked prices to the maximum when it last rose in April.

Gareth Kloet of GoCompare Energy, said even though the large energy providers are following the Ofgem cap, others are not. “There are still a number of providers such as The People’s Energy, Pure Planet and PFP Energy who have yet to increase their prices.”

Some of the smaller suppliers are cheaper than the “Big Six”, despite increasing tariffs in recent weeks.

Outfox the Market has increased its SVT by a lower rate 7.23 percent to £1,138.25, which is £138.75 below the cap, Kloet said. “The biggest rise so far comes from Igloo Energy, which has increased its tariff by 14 percent to £1,228.98. However, that is nearly £50 cheaper than the price cap.”

He expected more energy suppliers to increase their tariffs, with most bringing them in line with the energy cap.

These increases do not come into effect until October 1, so there is still time to switch. “If you want to secure your prices now, longer term fixed rate deals are there to offer security for the next 12 months or even two years, protecting you from further increases.”

Almost a third of households have never switched energy provider at all, and stand to make the biggest savings.

Kevin Pratt, energy expert at Forbes Advisor, said energy suppliers are “itching” to pass on the cost of rising wholesale energy prices to customers.

This is also bad news for four million households on pre-paid tariffs, as their cap has shot up by £153 to an even higher £1,309.

“Most energy providers don’t see the cap as a limit but as a target,” Pratt said.

He said switch sooner rather than later. “All tariffs – not just the default ones – will eventually feel the effect of rising wholesale prices.”

Fixed rate deals are generally cheaper than default tariffs and shield you from energy price inflation too, but they are also getting pricier.

Customers cannot do much about rising energy prices, but can potentially save hundreds of pounds by switching, Pratt added.

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