Bills, bills, bills – getting them is inevitable but that doesn’t mean we have to like it, and we like them even less when those bills get bigger. Sadly, though, the cost of everyday necessities is unlikely to get smaller anytime soon because the forecast is for price hikes in our energy bills. Right in the middle of winter, lucky us.

What can we expect?

Energy prices have remained relatively steady over the years but wholesale prices of gas have increased and electricity costs have risen since March 2016 to a four year high. With this in mind, you may assume that those prices will eventually be passed on to us.

Reinforcing that prediction is the fact that some smaller providers have either increased their tariffs whilst some lower cost tariffs have been removed altogether.

So, if price rises became a reality then how much more can we expect to pay? Some experts reckon we could see the average annual dual fuel bill increasing by £100 as nearly £2 billion is added to our bills over the course of the next year.

Haven’t we been through this before?

Yes, we have, back in October 2013 when SSE became the first of the big six to increase prices, customers on their dual fuel tariff ended up paying £106 more, bringing the average bill to £1,380. British Gas, Npower and Scottish Power were quick to follow and subsequently announced their own price rises.

Of course, according to the energy companies there was good reason for the increase. A combination of rising wholesale prices, the increased cost of delivery networks and government levies were all to blame.

What can we do about it?

Just because prices are likely to rise, doesn’t mean you have to sit back and let it happen; because even if prices increase across lots of suppliers, you could still try to find yourself a better deal. And whilst we don’t want to blow our own trumpet, we are proud of the fact that by comparing and switching with us, our customers have saved more than £87 million in 2016.**

If you’ve never switched and are worried about the switching process, then don’t be – because the government’s Energy Switch Guarantee is a promise that your switch will be quick and easy with no interruption to your supply. Check that your old and new supplier are signed up to the scheme. Plus, we found that if you have never switched before you could stand to save an average of £200 a year on your energy bills*** – surely that’s worth investigating?

comparethemarket.com’s exclusive deal

To help you beat these upcoming price rises, we’ve also got an exclusive deal with EDF Energy offering you the chance to switch to their two year fixed rate tariff called Blue+Heating Protect Mar 19, which also give you one year’s boiler cover and heating insurance through EDF’s partner Intana. What’s more, if you sign up through us between 6 February and 20 February 2017, we’ll give you £50 cashback! Find out if this could be the deal for you here

Star switchers

Every month we publish our Energy Snapshot – showing you who’s been switching and how much they’ve saved on average in the previous month. We also show you the deals that are about to end that month so you can make sure you know when to switch if you’re one of those customers. Start looking to switch at around the 42 to 49 days before your deal comes to an end and you are likely to avoid paying cancellation fees. Some of the savings may surprise you so it’s worth shopping around to see if you can find a fixed rate deal to help you beat the price rises. Or if your fixed rate tariff is not up for renewal soon, find out what your cancellation fee is to see if the savings you could make would make it worth switching early.

So, if you’re fed up of hearing about price rises and how much everyone else has saved by switching supplier, then do something about it. Start your money saving search at comparethemarket.com

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