Usually, frozen energy prices would be a cause for celebration – but as big providers such as E.ON, Good Energy, SSE and British Gas put their price hikes on hold, modern consumers are being warned that they may still be paying too much for their utility bills.
As an independent supplier, Good Energy was the first brand to hold its prices on the 19th of October, and British Gas finally joined the freeze on the 1st of December – just in time for Christmas. The company announced that they were offering a held “standard” price until March 2017 to help provide their customers with security over the winter months. E.ON quickly followed suit with a similar offer – perhaps as a testament to the pressure that big energy brands have been under during these recent months.
Energy Suppliers Over-charging Families
The price freeze comes soon after reports began accusing the six biggest British suppliers from over-charging families. According to consumer groups like uSwitch, although standard tariffs might look good on the surface – particularly when they’re frozen, the truth is that they offer customers a false sense of security. In fact, these customers could be tempted to stick with the same energy suppliers thanks to the freeze, despite the fact that they could be overpaying for their energy by around £200 a year.
In an effort to regain the affections of its target market, British Gas announced that alongside its price freeze, it would also be taking measures to ensure that all customers could access the best possible deals for their energy. In 2017, the company will be providing energy health checks for their standard variable customers – to ensure they’re on the right tariffs.
Why is Energy so Expensive?
The problems that have arisen with the pound following the EU referendum has led to the significant rise of wholesale energy prices – even prompting the collapse of the provider: GB Energy, at the end of November. However, the truth is that many of the bigger energy companies are simply looking for ways to increase their profits.
Reports have found that the average cost of any home’s electricity and gas needs is usually around £844 per year – yet many families pay around £1,172 – giving large profit margins to energy providers.
Don’t be too Excited about the Freeze
Although tariff freezes often seem like good news to most families today, it’s important to think about your long-term energy needs if you want to get more for your money. After all, not only could tariff freezing distract you from the fact that you’re already paying too much for your energy – but it’s also just a temporary solution.
You may find that sticking with your current energy tariff leads to paying significantly more on your energy bills next year, as companies once again begin to hike up the costs for gas, and electricity. The best way to prepare for the new year – is to make sure you’re on the right tariff!