SSE has announced that it will increase electricity prices by 14.9% at the end of the month.
In response to the news Ben Wilson, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com Energy, said: “We said last week when E.ON increased its energy prices for 2.5m standard variable tariff customers that SSE wouldn’t be far behind. Lo and behold, SSE has announced today it is increasing its electricity prices by eight times higher than the current rate of inflation (1.8%).”
“The big six energy companies have become depressingly predictable, swiftly following each other as they squeeze every penny out of loyal customers, many of whom have stuck with them for years, paying well over the odds for their gas and electricity. Unfortunately, they know that many customers will take these increases lying down, seeing little benefit in moving to another energy giant but reluctant to switch to a more competitive challenger provider. Customers must stand up to these increases by getting off their standard tariffs and switching to a better deal.”
“Ofgem figures suggest that energy switching is gaining momentum, but it’s still up to customers to show the big six that they’ve had enough of being taken for mugs and move to a better tariff where they can potentially save hundreds of pounds a year. Our research shows that 56% of households haven’t switched energy provider in the last three years and 29% have never switched. But shopping around works! Customers who haven’t switched recently could save as much as £305** on their gas and electricity bills by moving to a new deal. Finding a cheaper energy supplier is easy using a comparison site and you could be saving money within three weeks of starting the switch with no interruption of your energy supply.”
Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Energy firms have been lining up to increase their loyal customers’ bills. SSE is the latest supplier to announce that it will ramp up electricity prices for its customers who are not on a fixed deal. A large majority of SSE customers are on the more expensive standard variable tariff, with most of them set to be paying even more with this latest price rise. Setting up a fund to support vulnerable customers is a welcome step to help some of those who can least afford bills going up. But people need more certainty that their energy firms will not continue to exploit their loyalty.
“The government could take an important first step to remove the penalty people pay for their loyalty by extending the prepayment meter price cap to standard variable tariff customers who are eligible for the Warm Homes Discount.”
Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket said “The 2.8 million customers on SSE’s standard tariffs will now see their energy bills rise by £73 as prices increase by almost seven per cent. It’s a predictable move as SSE becomes the last of the ‘Big Six’ to announce price increases, excluding British Gas, which has frozen prices until August. The majority of the UK’s bill-payers are on standard variable tariffs, which are £229 more expensive than the cheapest deals available. However, in line with market uplift, even these cheaper tariffs are getting more expensive. In March 2016, the best fixed deal was £751 but in March 2017 it is 11 per cent more expensive, at £834.”