Millions of customers on standard variable tariffs saw their bills fall at the start of the year – by an average of £76 – thanks to the introduction of the energy price cap .
But that respite might well be short lived, with the news that prices at E.ON are rising £117 for those on dual fuel bills while prepayment meter customers will also face a £106 price rise.
That will make E.ON’s standard tariff £286 more expensive than the cheapest deal currently on the market, according to uSwitch.com figures.
How are they managing this? Well, on Thursday regulator Ofgem said the cap would rise in April and E.ON has wasted no time in ramping up their prices by the maximum allowed.
An E.ON spokesperson said: “Ofgem’s energy market price cap review set out that price cap levels would increase, driven by rising wholesale and other costs.
"In line with that, we’ll be making changes to our standard variable tariff prices from 1 April and expect to see similar movements across the energy industry.
"Prices will not change for existing customers until then. Over the coming weeks we’ll be writing to affected customers explaining what the changes will mean for them and encouraging them to choose the best tariff for their needs.”
The new level of the cap will stay in place for 6 months – from 1 April 2019 through to 30 September 2019- when it will be reset again.
At that point it could rise again, or fall, depending on how wholesale gas and electricity prices have moved.
Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch.com , said: “Predictably, just four days after Ofgem announced it is raising the level of the price cap, we’re seeing suppliers start to raise prices, with E.ON hiking bills for customers on its standard tariff.
“E.ON customers should not fall into the cap trap – a capped deal is not a good deal and standard plans are going to be more expensive in April than before the cap was introduced."
The good news for anyone staring down the barrel of a price hike is that you can move, now, with no cost.
That’s because only those on a standard variable rate are affected – and they aren’t tied into a contract.
“Standard tariffs were a bad deal at the old cap level and they’ll be an even worse deal at the new level," Smith said.
“E.ON customers should shop around and lock in a cheap fixed plan now to protect themselves from the risk of twice yearly price changes. Households still have time to switch now and protect themselves from a £117 bill hike.”
You can read our full guide to switching energy here , or even move to one of the new automated switching services that you only need to sign up to once and will move you to the best deals automatically as soon as your current one expires.
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