British Gas and EDF Price Hikes 2018: How to avoid a skyrocketing energy bill this year
Days after British Gas announced a 5.5% price increase, EDF has announced a 2018 price rise of its own, a slightly lower 2.7% increase in its electricity prices. We dig beneath the surface and see how you can still save.
The two firms have slightly different reasons for their price rises, and will affect consumers in different ways.
The British Gas price increase has been blamed on a number of factors, including rising wholesale gas prices, renewable energy subsidies (which are paid for through energy bills) and its £11 million smart meter roll out. Its above-inflation price rises will result in the average annual energy bill of its customers rising to £1161 when they come into effect on May 29, which equates to about £60 per household.
Meanwhile, EDF is only raising the price of its electricity, and not its gas. This means that if you buy both of them from the single supplier then your total bill will only increase by 1.4%. A typical annual bill from this company will hence reach £1158 on June 7 when the rise takes effect, and follows two price rises last year in March and June.
Energy Bill Price Hikes: Can I avoid them?
There’s no escaping the fact that energy is getting expensive, but there are a couple of things you can do to reduce the sting when price rises like this are announced.
The first is to sign up for a fixed-price tariff. This locks your bill in place for a set period meaning you won’t be hit by any price rises in that time. Of course, if your supplier lowers its prices then you also won’t see a benefit, but these price reductions are rarely passed on to consumers.
The second option is to change suppliers entirely.
This can seem like a difficult process, but it’s actually very easy. An engineer won’t have to visit your house, and you won’t experience any loss in service. This price comparison service is a great place to start. If you’ve got your meter readings from the past year then you can get a pretty decent estimate of how much you’ll pay in the future; otherwise it will generate an estimate for you based on the size of your home and the number of people living in it.
Of course, the real pros amongst you will use both options simultaneously to change to a cheaper tariff that’s locked in place for a decent number of months.
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