More than 100,000 First Utility customers on the firm's standard variable tariff will face an average 9.7% hike in their energy bills from 1 April. If you're affected, check now if you can beat the hike and slash your bills by switching to a cheap fixed deal.

The increase will take a typical dual fuel household's average annual bill to £1,148/year – an increase of £105.60/year, or £8.80/month, according to the supplier's own figures.

It will hit the 13% of First Utility customers (approximately 117,000) who are on its standard First Variable tariff and live in areas other than the Eastern, Southern and Norweb (North West England) energy regions. Standard tariff customers living in those three regions – plus anyone on a First Utility fix – WON'T be affected by this price rise.

If you're one of those who'll be hit by the hike – or if you're on any other firm's standard tariff – you're almost certainly already overpaying. You can do a comparison to find your cheapest deal using our free Cheap Energy Club.

Latest in wave of price hikes

First Utility is the latest energy firm to unveil a price hike, with Scottish Power, Npower and EDF all having announced significant increases, and Co-op Energy revealing just yesterday that it will raise its standard tariff prices by an average of 5% on Saturday 1 April.

By contrast British Gas has extended its current standard-tariff price freeze until 1 August 2017 – though if you're on a British Gas standard tariff, you're likely already overpaying.

Like the other firms which have hiked their prices in recent weeks, First Utility's blamed the rise on the increased costs of buying energy and meeting obligations such as the roll-out of smart meters. It said it would write to affected customers over the next few days to warn them of the changes.

First Utility's cheapest one-year fixed tariff (First Fix March 2018) costs an average of about £960/year for a typical dual fuel home. So if you're one of its standard tariff customers, even if you're determined to stick with the firm, you could be overpaying by almost £200/year if you stay on the same tariff.

Yet switching elsewhere could save you even more – a number of market-leading fixed tariffs come in at under £900/year on average for a typical user. Check out our free Cheap Energy Club to find the best deal for your home.

What does First Utility say?

Managing director Ed Kamm said: "After a period of low wholesale prices, energy and industry policy costs have increased quite substantially over the past year and that unfortunately means we need to reflect this in the price of our variable tariff. This will only impact a small proportion of our customers thanks to our focus on providing customers with great value fixed price tariffs."