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Sarah Rice

Sarah is our insurance specialist, reporting the latest important developments in the industry.

Check you Energy Costs as Further Price Hikes Take Effect

British Gas' announcement a few weeks ago over their intended energy price increases of up to 20% have now been echoed by energy provider SSE (Scottish and Sout

**British Gas' announcement a few weeks ago over their intended energy price increases of up to 20% have now been echoed by energy provider SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy).

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This makes SSE the third significant energy provider to announce intended increases this year, making it even more important for consumers to find the best deals on energy provision.

The intended increases could see households incur an annual increase of £171 to their energy bills, with the price of gas rising by 18% and the price of electricity by 11%.

The changes, which will come into effect from September 14th of this year,could spell trouble for the already money-conscious Brits.

With people already concerned about the state of their finances, the need to compare the prices of energy as offered by different providers has never been more vital.

With half of the ‘big six' providers having upped their costs, it seems only likely that the other three will do the same, meaning that customers could find themselves turning to smaller providers in order to attain the best price.

SSE stressed that after these changes further increases will not be made until August 2012 at earliest, but with many consumers already struggling to pay their bills this offers little comfort.

When evaluating your own energy costs it is important to take into account both the amount you use and the area in which you live, as this can all affect the cost. You should also review the tariff that you are on in order to see if it meets your usage requirements effectively.

If you are worried about the price you are paying for their energy supply, you should enter your personal tariff and usage details through an impartial, independent energy comparison tool. This will help you to establish whether or not you are getting the best deal available.Comparison tools are available at sites such as www.moneymaxim.co.uk/energy