UK households face huge energy hikes in the New Year, according to research by Gocompare.com Energy. The comparison site found that a range of fixed dual fuel energy tariffs, including deals from energy giants Npower and Scottish Power, are due to expire at the end of December.  Unless they take action now, customers who are currently on these tariffs will be automatically rolled onto a standard variable rate (SVR) which, in the majority of cases, are more expensive than the deal they are currently on.

The only way for customers on these affected tariffs to beat these price hikes is to shop around for a better deal, either with their existing provider or a new one.

While people are busy with New Year celebrations, 33 tariffs will end resulting in customers being moved onto a more expensive variable rate. On average, households will see their bills jump up by an average of £250.92, as their supplier gives them a swift kick in the baubles.

Customers on the Extra Energy Fresh Fixed Price Dec 2016 v8 will see the biggest annual rise when they are rolled onto the supplier’s Variable Price v1 tariff (its standard variable rate). On average, households on the tariff can expect to see a staggering £331.59 annual price rise.

While the vast majority of tariffs ending will see dramatic price rises, not all tariffs expiring will mean higher bills. In some cases, customers may see their bills stay the same or even fall slightly. However, this just means that they are already paying more than they need to be for their energy and could save as much as £305by shopping around for a new supplier.

Ben Wilson, spokesperson at Gocompare.com Energy, commented: “The Christmas period is an incredibly busy time of year so it’s understandable that the last thing on people’s minds is their energy bills. Unfortunately, winter is typically when we use the most energy so taking your eye off the ball for a few weeks can really put a serious dent in your finances. Winter is also the time of the year when many of us spend the most money, with lots of us splashing out on food and presents – leaving many suffering from a financial hangover in January.”