Christmas Price Blow for Millions Of Gas Customers

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Consumers in “last-chance saloon” for cheap energy deals, says energyhelpline.com

This decision is clear evidence that UK households are in the last-chance saloon with cheap deals and they must act now if they want to keep their costs down. I can't see the best two current offers from EDF and First Utility being around for much longer.

Energyhelpline.com today branded a swingeing 9.4 per cent increase in gas prices by Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) was “a grim Christmas present” for millions.

The independent gas and electricity suppliers’ price comparison website said the announcement highlighted price trends in the household energy market and urged people to act now if they wanted to insulate themselves against further price rises.

The rise – which will affect around 3.6 million customers – will take effect from December 1, just three weeks before Christmas.

SSE, the second-biggest member of the “Big Six”, said the move would lead to a rise of £67 a year, to £782, based on the current typical annual domestic gas consumption value used by Ofgem of 20,500kWh.

Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline.com, said: “This announcement is a grim Christmas present for millions of people especially as it will take effect during what is predicted to be an extremely harsh winter.

“After two years of energy price drops, the tide has now turned and we look set for a grim return to price rises. The SSE price rise will equate to a total of over £200 million for SSE customers over the next year. The company has been the cheapest of the “Big Six” suppliers for household gas and clearly could not sustain its losses any longer as wholesale prices rise.

“This decision is clear evidence that UK households are in the last-chance saloon with cheap deals and they must act now if they want to keep their costs down. I can’t see the best two current offers from EDF and First Utility being around for much longer.”

SSE – which owns Southern Electric, Scottish Hydro and SWALEC - has a particularly strong presence in southern England, Scotland and Wales.

Todd: “There won’t be many parts of the UK which won’t be affected by this swingeing price rise and unfortunately we believe this is the shape of things to come.

“The mixture of public spending cuts and energy rises is a very unpalatable Christmas cocktail which will spell misery for millions of households.

“We have predicted price rises of 5-10 per cent and this is in line with those forecasts. Customers need to get online or call price comparison websites now if they want to minimise the effect.

energyhelpline.com is an independent service for consumers to compare electricity and gas tariffs providing fast, free and friendly advice on the best deals. They compare all major gas and electricity suppliers in the UK to help you find your best deal, and then take all the hassle out of switching with their simple online forms.

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Mark Todd
Energyhelpline.com
0044 (0)207 960 4455
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