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David Neal

Check Gas and Electricity Prices to Avoid Summer Price Hikes

Find out what to do now to monitor your gas and electricity prices and avoid the usual round of summer price increases.

News announced last week that British Gas intends increasing gas and electricity charges by as much as 20 per cent is just part of a new round of energy price hikes by leading utility companies. Find out what to do now to monitor your gas and electricity prices and avoid the usual round of summer price increases.

The average household's dual gas and electricity bill could now go up by a shocking £200.

Britain's biggest supplier of gas and electricity have confirmed rumours that they were increasing prices by putting up cost by 18% for gas, an average of £121.

The last year of double price hikes occurred in 2008 when energy bills increased by a jaw dropping 41%.

The annual bill for British Gas customers will now increase from £1,096 to £1,288. The impact is potentially huge – the first round of hikes which only ended in March hit almost 28 million customers and added £630 million onto household energy bills.

The first energy suppliers of the ‘big six' Scottish Power announced they are increasing the cost of standard gas by 19% and electricity by 10%, adding an extra £175 to annual energy bills. The increased costs will come into effect later this year also.

Scottish Power has offered some attractive online variable tariffs over the last year and brought in some very price aware customers who will be appalled by the bill increases that they face, with gas prices rising by 19% and electricity by 10%. Others on standard and prepaid tariffs will be similarly affected. Customers of other suppliers are likely to see steep increases as well as the big utility companies line up to announce their pricing plans.

For an average household the increase is going to add around £175 to the annual bill – but for some, either with heavier than average use or in larger homes, the price rises will be higher still.

If you can't afford price rises of this scale fix your tariff now – EDF and nPower have some of the cheapest fixed deals over a year, whilst EDF also have an attractive fixed tariff stretching out to 2014 if longer term stability is desired – however these deals are unlikely to be around for long. Last time prices started moving upwards it was the fixed price tariffs that disappeared first.

Anyone who is at all concerned runs their personal tariff and usage details through an impartial and independent energy comparison tool such as that available at www.moneymaxim.co.uk/energy .