SSE has become the last of the big six energy firms to announce a price hike, with 2.4 million customers on its standard variable tariff to see bills rise by an average 6.7% from Wednesday 11 July.
The average price of gas is going up by 5.7%, while electricity will jump by 7.7%, meaning those with dual fuel will pay an average £76/year more based on typical use. Those on fixed deals or with prepay meters won't be affected.
However, SSE is also scrapping its £6 per fuel annual paperless discount, meaning that if you're managing your account online and you're on its standard tariff you'll see bills rise by £87/year - that's a 7.8% increase.
SSE is the last of the big six to announce a price rise this year, with British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power and Npower, all hiking the price of their standard variable tariffs and E.on hitting customers with a backdoor price hike back in March.
If you get your gas and electricity from M&S Energy - a 'white label' of SSE, so it's the same company using a different brand name - and you're on its standard tariff, you'll also be hit by the same price rise.
If you're affected by this price rise, you're likely already overpaying for your gas and electricity. Check if you can switch and save £100s/yr with our free Cheap Energy Club.
Martin: 'Anyone on a Big 6 standard tariff is ripping themselves off by failing to take action'
Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com said: “Baaaaa. Yet again like sheep, with energy firms, when one moves the rest all follow. Yet the reality is they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
“SSE is the final firm to announce in this round of price hikes, so we’ve a level playing field for comparison. Npower is the worst offender, charging someone with typical use £1,230 a year – well over £100 a month. Eon has the least-worst of the Big 6 standard tariffs at £1,153. Yet even that is massively over the odds.
“Anyone on a Big 6 standard tariff is ripping themselves off by failing to take action. Do-nothings pay massively more than the do-somethings. Switch firm and you could cut bills to almost £800 a year, even with the same usage. And even if for some reason you’re loyal to your current provider, almost all Big 6 suppliers have alternative tariffs over £100 a year cheaper than their standard deals. However they operate ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ policies. So at the very least, ask!”
How are prices changing across the big six?
After all the hikes hit, the cost of the average big six standard on typical use paying by direct debit will be £1,185/year, up from £1,132/year - a £53 hike and 4.7% higher than it was pre-hikes.
While SSE is the largest increase - 7.8% if you also take into account the removal of its paperless discount - Npower's standard tariff costs the most at a massive £1,230/yr, over £420/year more expensive than the cheapest on the market based on typical use.
Even on the cheapest big six standard tariff, you'll pay a typical £1,153/year with E.on - nearly £350/year more than the market's cheapest.
Big 6 Standard Tariff comparison
|Supplier||New standard tariff||Old standard tariff||Percentage increase||Takes effect from|
|Npower||1,230||1,166||5.5||Sunday 17 June|
|Scottish Power||1,211||1,148||5.5||Friday 1 June|
|SSE||1,196||1,109||7.8 (i)||Wednesday 11 July|
|British Gas||1,161||1,101||5.5||Tuesday 29 May|
|EDF||1,158||1,142||1.4||Thursday 7 June|
|E.on||1,153||1,123||2.7||Thursday 19 April|
|Based on calculations from regulator Ofgem for medium usage. All tariffs assume dual fuel and monthly direct debit. (i) Includes the removal of the £6 per fuel annual paperless discount.|
How are prices changing?
The SSE price rise only affects you if you're on its standard variable tariff:
- For those on monthly or quarterly direct debit... typical average dual fuel bills will rise by £76 to £1,196/yr - a 6.7% increase.
- For those on monthly or quarterly direct debit and paperless billing... typical average dual fuel bills will rise by £87, also to £1,196/yr - a 7.8% increase.
These estimates are based on typical annual consumption of 3,100kWh electricity and 12,000kWh gas.
How can I beat the hike?
If you're on a standard variable tariff, you can switch away from it without paying any exit fees.
There are much cheaper deals on the market. The cheapest, a variable deal from small supplier Outfox the Market, is £807/yr based on typical use - nearly £390/yr cheaper than SSE after its hike comes into effect. Find the best deal for you by doing a full market comparison on our free Cheap Energy Club.
Even if you're determined to stay with SSE, it has cheaper deals. Its 1 Year Fixed v15 costs an average £1,136/yr for dual fuel based on typical usage - £60/yr less than its standard tariff will be from Wednesday 11 July. You can search the cheapest deals with your current supplier on Cheap Energy Club
What does SSE say?
Stephen Forbes, Chief Commercial Officer of SSE Energy Services, said: "We deeply regret having to raise prices and have worked hard to withstand the increasing costs that are largely outside our control by reducing our own internal costs.
"However, as we’ve seen with recent adjustments to Ofgem’s price caps, the cost of supplying energy is increasing and this ultimately impacts the prices we’re able to offer customers.
“We will be writing to all affected customers, setting out details of the changes and identifying any ways in which we could help them save money.
"I’d urge any customer concerned about their energy costs to contact our customer service teams or visit our website as there’s plenty of support available, including around £50m of financial assistance available through the Warm Home Discount scheme."