British Gas and Scottish Power customers are next in line to face significant price hikes, with five out of the Big Six energy providers now charging the maximum legally allowed.
Customers of British Gas with standard variable tariffs (SVTs) will now pay £1,254 per year on average, an increase of £119 from £1,135. This represents a 10.5% increase – more than five times higher than the current rate of inflation of 1.8%.
As many as 3.9 million customers will be affected. The price hike will come in from 1 April.
The company says that the tariff affected is not available to new customers. As a result, the number of households on the tariff has fallen by 1.2 million in the last 12 months.
The firm is the fourth of the six biggest energy firms to raise prices.
E.ON, EDF Energy, nPower and now Britsh Gas have all hiked their prices to the level of the price cap set by the government at £1,254.
In total, eight million households now face higher energy costs thanks to the eye-watering price rises.
The current cheapest SVR on the market comes from minnow provider Utility Point at £915.26 - fully £338.87 cheaper than the companies SVRs mentioned above.
The current cheapest fixed deal on the market also comes from Utility Point at £945.27.
Sally Jaques, head of energy at energy bill auto-switching service weflip, says: “As well as affecting the biggest number of customers, British Gas has announced the highest increase so far.
“Although British Gas claim the number of customers on their SVT has fallen by 1.2 million over the last 12 months, it still means over 25% of their 13 million customers could be forking out a collective £464 million more a year for their energy, unless they switch.”
The easiest way for energy customers to save on their bills is switching using a price comparison site.
There has also been a proliferation of energy bill auto-switching services in recent times, including firms such as Switchd, weflip, and The Labrador.
Scottish Power follows suit
In the hours after the British Gas price hike, Scottish Power has also hiked prices for its SVR customers. Prices will rise on average by £117 for 900,000 customers of the firm.
Ms Jaques adds: "Scottish Power has become the latest energy firm to knock customers with a price rise, announcing a 10% hike just hours after British Gas, hitting stretched households hard in the pocket.
“We’ve now seen five out of the big six announce rises in the space of eight days, meaning a total of more than £1bn is expected to be added to energy bills come April, so people need to act on this before it’s too late.
“While Scottish Power has the least number of customers affected, there are still far too many people sticking with expensive SVTs and customers affected should be getting online to compare prices and sign up to an autoswitching service like weflip, who take the stress out of having to switch again."