The average cost of electricity has more than tripled and gas has more than doubled in the last 20 years, outstripping the cost of all other goods and services outside of the sector, according to analysis by comparethemarket.com.

The average cost of gas for households has risen by 221%, while electricity has risen by 193% over the last 20 years. Over the same period the cost of all other goods and services, measured in consumer price inflation, has increased by only 49%.

During April, approximately 15 million households suffered a significant rise to their monthly energy costs, driven by Ofgem’s energy price cap. The new price cap level which came into effect from the 1st of April saw households on a standard variable or default tariff face an average annual increase of £117. The effect of this meant the cost of electricity and gas jumped by 11% and 9% respectively, pushing up the overall cost of inflation.

Peter Earl, head of energy, at comparethemarket.com, said “The cost of these essential services that allow us to heat and light our homes, and cook our food, has risen exponentially over the last 20 years putting even more strain on our household budgets. There are many factors that drive energy prices; however, it can’t be denied that the introduction of the energy price cap has caused suppliers to push up prices even further on their standard and default tariffs, which could be adding hundreds more pounds to millions of household’s bills every month. It’s more important than ever to switch your provider and make sure you’re stuck on a standard or default tariff. Households could save up to a staggering £374 by switching to a competitively priced fixed tariff!”