Ofgem has increased the maximum amount energy companies can charge customers on the safeguard tariff by an average of £47.00 a year. Average annual bills for vulnerable and prepay customers could increase from £1089.00 to £1136.00 for dual fuel customers from the 1st October 2018.
Georgie Frost consumer advocate at GoCompare Energy said; “£47 is significant, especially when you consider that it will impact households already considered vulnerable.
“Due to wholesale energy prices exploding since the beginning of the year, this marks the second time the regulator has needed to increase the cap this year, meaning that from October, as we enter peak energy-usage season, affected households will face paying £115 more for their energy than they were at the beginning of the year.
“As it stands, if providers raise their prices in line with the cap, impacted customers could see their average energy bill rise to around £1,136, just a few pounds less than the average standard variable price offered by ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers. In comparison, the cheapest prepay energy tariff is £159 cheaper.
“However, the fact remains that prepay meters are still one of the most expensive ways to pay for energy, for instance the cheapest overall fixed energy deal is a staggering £315.10 cheaper than the safeguard tariff. This should really highlight the importance of getting the switching message through and ensuring that the most vulnerable households are armed with the information and ability to switch suppliers and save themselves hundreds of pounds a year.”
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