Energy’s autumn of discontent has continued apace, with Scottish Power announcing an 8.6% average price rise.
The firm, the fourth member of the big six energy firms to announce price rises over the past few weeks, pointed to the familiar line of wholesale energy costs and regulatory demands of investing in renewables.
The move comes amid much political wrangling over energy. On Monday, Scottish Power was fined £8.5m for sales tactics.
Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: “With four of the big six energy suppliers having now revealed their winter price hikes , people are increasingly faced with the dilemma of whether to freeze or make cutbacks elsewhere in order to heat and power their homes.”
Fixed price tariffs may be a good way for consumers to beat the rises: “With more price increases looking to be on the way, moving to a fixed tariff can help you keep control of what you’re spending on gas and electricity, and ensure that you’re not hit by further energy price hikes," said Cryer.
For instance, fixed tariffs like EDF’s Blue+ Price Freeeeze March 2017 could allow you to protect yourself against price rises for the next four winters. Those from smaller, independent suppliers like First Utility’s iSave Fixed v10 January 2016, let you fix for more than two years. However, it's important to remember that switching to a fixed price tariff will prevent you from benefiting from any cuts in energy prices for the course of your contract. You will also need to pay a fee to exit them.
“There are lots of good fixed tariffs available, and to compare them all you need is your annual energy usage, which you can get from your current supplier, and your postcode,” said Cryer. “Remember, no single tariff will be best for everyone, and that’s why it’s important that you shop around to find the supplier that’s offering the right deal for you.”