Just as the cold weather is arriving the cost of my household energy bills are increasing by a whopping 28% and there is more to come. I am not alone. Anyone who has been on a fixed price tariff that is coming to an end will find their costs are increasing similarly. And the companies are getting away with it without any adverse publicity because they are not putting up their standard tariffs yet.
Their fixed rate tariffs are under the radar, although they have been used by the energy companies to demonstrate that they are not making much profit out of their domestic customers. A few months ago they were claiming they were making 4% profit on their domestic supplies when those on standard tariffs were providing profits nearer to 20%.
Energy companies hide the percentage increase
Not that it is easy to find out what the increase is when a fixed rate tariff is coming to an end. An email arrives stating that the best tariff is £17 a year cheaper than the standard tariff for gas and £21 for electricity. It took half an hour to compare the price her kilowatt hour under the new tariffs.
The energy companies have always overcharged the customers on their standard tariffs and now they are mopping up the rest of us and if we do not like the new fixes then the standard tariffs are still a little more expensive. And if we look further afield the rest of the market are charging very similar rates.
More energy bill rises on the way
And we are warned that the standard rates are set to increase by at least 5%.
My monthly payments are moving from £79.45 to £102.10. And while electricity was charged from last February at 10.15p per kilowatt hour to 14.028p – an increase of 38%. The gas was 3.313p per kilowatt hour and is increasing to 3.789p per unit – a rise of 15%.
Six months ago the prime minister said she was going to make energy prices fairer. Increasing the costs of those who had bargain rates may even things out but those on the extortionate standard rates are not better off as a result. Only the energy companies are winning.
It is worth checking on a comparison site if you can make a saving by moving company, but those savings are much smaller than they were last year.
In the meantime we have to make sure we do not waste any energy. Block the drafts. Turn off the lights when you leave a room and use thermostats and timers to best effect. And keep an eye on what you use. You do not need a smart meter, just check an ordinary one and you will soon find out what piece of equipment costs most to use.