Npower has become the latest energy provider to announce price hikes, which will affect around one million customers.
From 17 June, the average dual-fuel user on a standard variable tariff (SVR) who pays by direct debit will see prices rise by 5.3% - or £64 a year - taking annual bills to £1,230.
This is made up of an average rise of 4.4% on gas and 6.2% on electricity.
The Big Six energy provider says the price change “largely stems from increases in policy and wholesale energy costs”.
However, customers on a fixed energy tariff, on a prepayment meter or on a ‘Safeguard tariff’ will not see prices rise. Npower says this accounts for over 60% of its customer base.
Simon Stacey, managing director of domestic markets at Npower, comments:“Announcing this price change today isn’t a decision we’ve taken lightly. The costs all large and medium energy suppliers are facing - particularly wholesale and policy costs which are largely outside our control - have unfortunately been on the rise for some time and we need to reflect these in our prices.”
The easiest way to beat energy price hikes is to use a comparison tool to check if you can switch and save.
Claire Osborne, energy expert at comparison website uSwitch, explains: “Npower has reclaimed its top spot as the most expensive Big Six standard tariff. The average £64 rise is the equivalent of almost three weeks’ spending on energy.
“Npower customers who don't want to suffer the same fate as households on British Gas, EDF and Scottish Power standard tariffs have a simple choice to make: stay on a rip-off tariff and watch their bank balance shrink even further, or compare, switch and save up to £491. With the recent wholesale cost increases, now is the time to switch and lock in a fixed deal to protect yourself against future price rises.”
Are other energy providers upping costs?
Yes. Of the Big Six providers, British Gas, EDF, and Scottish Power have dealt their cards as follows:
- British Gas customers will see costs rise by 5.5% from 29 May.
- EDF customers will see prices rise by up to 3.5% from 7 June.
- Scottish Power customers will see prices rise by up to 6.9% from 1 June.
Meanwhile only yesterday, smaller energy supplier Bulb warned that it may have to increase prices for the second time in just four months following rising wholesale costs.