A new MoneySuperMarket analysis reveals that the recent price hikes from five of the Big Six energy companies will see them collecting an extra £1 billion from bill-payers.
EDF, npower, E.ON, Scottish Power and SSE have all announced price hikes ranging from one to ten per cent. According to MoneySuperMarket, affected households will be paying £80 more a year for exactly the same amount of energy.
And it's households on standard variable tariffs in the East of England who will be worst hit, with bills rising by an average of £88. Almost a quarter of households on Big Six tariffs in this area are with npower, which announced the highest price rise at 10%. A third are with Scottish Power, which increased prices by 8%.
And, says MoneySuperMarket, these households could save £388 by switching to a fixed rate tariff.
Meanwhile, most households in North Wales, Merseyside and Cheshire on Big Six tariffs are with EDF, which announced a price rise of only 1%. These will see the smallest price hikes, at an average of £58.
On average, says MoneySuperMarket, households affected by the price rises could save almost £400 by shopping around and switching providers.
Even those with British Gas, which is freezing standard variable tariffs until August 2017, are still typically paying £1,174 annually - 34% more than the cheapest fixed deals on the market.
"The message is loud and clear for the millions of people hit by Big Six price rises: shop around if you're on a standard variable tariff, or if you're on a fixed deal that's coming to an end," says Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket
"Collectively, customers could save £7.4 billion by standing up to price rises and shopping around - that's well worth the seven minutes it takes to switch deals."
Most outrageous bill mistakes
Most outrageous bill mistakes
Carol Sandford, 72, called 118 118 from her mobile phone unaware of the charges involved. Calls to the number cost £1.88 per call and there is also a £2.57 per minute charge from landlines. TalkTalk raises this to £5.68 for the first minute and £3.28 per minute after that. TalkTalk told Carol the charge £81.12 charge was correct but luckily 118 118 were kinder, offering to repay the charge in full. Read the full story here.
One Londoner was more than a little confused when his debit card was declined while he was trying to buy just six bottles of American craft beers. But he quickly realised that instead of the £22.30 he owed, he had been charged £223,000! It's thought he punched in the PIN number before the machine was ready and it added the numbers to the total. Luckily the 28-year-old saw the funny side and laughed the incident off. Read more on the story here.
Early Lewis from Detroit was amazed to find his water bill was almost 100 times as much as he was expecting. The bill claimed that Lewis had used 3,740 gallons of water in just one hour. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the Water and Sewage Department admitted it was a mistake and subsequently charged Lewis the $36 he should have been charged initially. Read more on this story here.
George MacIntosh, 73, was charged a staggering £200 for premium-rate gambling texts he didn't intend to sign up for. Unfortunately this wasn't a scam but a legal service from a company called Zamano. It seems the retired vicar had accidentally signed up after responding to an initial text from the company. Read the full story here.
Philip Groves was amazed to receive a £1,411 bill from Vodafone last year for his 10-year-old daughter Trinity's phone. It turns out Trinity had watched 28 hours of instructional loom band videos on YouTube, assuming her phone was using wifi. But the wifi had cut out, leaving her phone using the data allowance at it's highest rate. Vodafone refused to cancel the bill and threatened legal action. Read more here.
Daniel Pontin was in for quite a shock after opening a gas bill charging him £31,000 for a year's worth of gas in a one-bedroom home. Pontin claimed his meter was broken when he moved in and was initially charged £35 a month for six months before he stopped receiving bills. When the huge £31,000 estimated bill arrived Npower told Pontin to ignore it while they investigated. Read the full story here.