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Is YOUR energy bill about to rocket?

…those with EDF, Shell Energy and Scottish Power will see even greater hikes of £192, £175, and £146 on average, respectively.

Thousands of households across Britain could see energy bills soar by as much as £190 a year as 47 fixed price deals come to an end this month, data shows.

Some 142,000 customers will see their bills go up by a collective £16million if they don’t switch tariff by the end of January, according to uSwitch.

The average increase in energy bills will be £114 but some could see annual price hikes of £190 – equivalent to a rise of 19 per cent.

To avoid a shock increase, customers on fixed tariffs are advised to check when their deal comes to an end and switch before their supplier hikes the price.

Households are already under financial strain – the Office of National Statistics showing credit card debt continues to rise whilst typical household spending rose by more than £800 extra last December, according to the Bank of England.

Financial difficulties are set to continue in the new year as the longest wait for payday all year is upon us and research showing half of those already in debt find themselves in an even worse financial position following Christmas.

Why it’s worth switching

Customers on a fixed tariff that is coming to an end who don’t move to a cheaper energy deal will be automatically rolled onto their supplier’s default tariff – also known as the standard variable tariff.

These are typically known as some of the worst value plans on the market with an average increase of £114 a year.

However, those with EDF, Shell Energy and Scottish Power will see even greater hikes of £192, £175, and £146 on average, respectively.

In fact, three EDF tariffs are due to end at the end of January, including its Blue+Heating Protect, Simply Fixed and Easy Online Exclusive deals.

It is expected that Ofgem, the energy watchdog, will announce at the beginning of February that the price cap will decrease somewhat from its current level of £1,179.

However, this lower rate still won’t take effect until 1 April and will be reviewed again in another six months.

The price cap is designed to help those who are stuck on pricey SVTs but even if the cap is reduced, customers on default tariffs could still be overpaying by around £300 a year.

Cordelia Samson, energy expert at uSwitch, said: ‘People are already feeling the strain on their wallets after Christmas, and the last thing they need is for their energy bill to shoot up. 

‘Anyone whose fixed energy deal is coming to an end soon will be rolled on to an expensive Standard Variable Tariff if they don’t choose a new, cheaper plan. So now is the time to take action.

‘In the past six months we’ve seen the lowest-priced deals becoming even cheaper.

‘Households can take advantage of more than 50 fixed deals available for less than £1,000 per year and switch now.

‘If you switch to a fixed deal this time, make sure you also sign up for a reminder to alert you when the plan is next due to expire – to keep you firmly in control of who you give your hard-earned money to.’

What are the best deals?

Currently, the best fixed deal on the market is with Utility Point – its Just Up 20 Wk02 Direct tariff which costs on average £828 per year.

For those looking for an environmentally friendly tariff, the cheapest deal is with Gulf Gas and Power and its Gulf Home Renewable tariff, costing £831 a year.

The only Big Six company with a tariff in the top ten list is EDF – its Simply Online Jun21v6 deal costs an average of £890 a year.

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