ENERGY firm E.ON is hiking gas and electricity bills for 1.8million customers by £117 from April 1.
It means existing customers on it’s standard variable tariff (SVR) will see their bills rise to £1,137 to £1,254.
It’s the first supplier to announce higher prices under the new price cap limit set by the energy regulator.
Last week, Ofgem announced that it would allow suppliers to charge customers more for their energy to reflect rising wholesale costs, affecting 11million bill payers nationwide.
The cap is supposed to protect customers who roll onto an SVR from being grossly overcharged, but critics say that people can still save more by switching suppliers.
E.ON’s tariff will now be £286 more expensive than the cheapest deal currently on the market, according to price comparison site, uSwitch.
Customers on a pre-pay metre will also see costs go up by nine per cent, adding another £106 to bills.
Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch.com, slammed the price rise as “predictable”.
He added: “E.ON customers should not fall into the cap trap – a capped deal is not a good deal and standard plans are going to be more expensive in April than before the cap was introduced.
“The limit set by the regulator effectively dictates how suppliers will purchase gas and electricity for their standard tariffs, restricting room for suppliers to differentiate themselves, and passing through cost changes swiftly.
How to find a cheaper energy deal
FIRSTLY, you’ll need to have a recent bill to hand. This will have all the details you need, including the name of your tariff and your recent spending on gas
- Use a comparison website: Customers can use websites such as uSwitch.com or Energyhelpline.com to compare tariffs and find a cheaper deal. You could save up to £400 a year if you’ve never switched before.
- There are other service you can turn to: MoneySavingExpert’s Cheap Energy Club will let you set up an email reminder that alerts you when cheaper deals become available.
- Things to do before you switch: Compare prices and before you switch check to see if you can get cachback from a website like Quidco or TopCashback
“E.ON customers should shop around and lock in a cheap fixed plan now to protect themselves from the risk of twice yearly price changes.”
Customers can still benefit from a cheaper deal by switching supplier and locking in to a fixed-rate deal ahead of April 1 when the new cap is due to come into effect.
Ofgem’s first cap was introduced on January 1 this year, claiming that it will save customers around £76 a year.
But five weeks later, it announced that it would be raising the cap to £1,254, leading consumer groups to slam the move as it wipes out the yearly savings first promised.
Other suppliers are expected to announce similar rises in the coming weeks.
Since it was announced, energy supplier nPower has also blamed the energy price cap as it announced it would cut 900 jobs.
Earlier this year, the Big Six energy firms were accused of running cartel by charging very similar prices.
As the temperatures drop, here are 19 tips on how to cut your energy bills and how to make the most of your tariff.
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