Gas and electricity Updated:
More than 50,000 energy customers have switched suppliers since SSE announced price hikes of 8.2% last week, and more are expected to follow suit.
The other big six energy firms are said to be holding off on making their own price rise announcements in the hope of soaking up those customers leaving SSE.
The Government is pleased about the mass exodus too. Ministers were concerned about the impact the rises would have on the cost of living and urged the general public to shop around for a better deal, and it seems that thousands of them have done so.
The SSE price hike is due to come into effect on 15 November and will see bills rise by an average of 8.2%, potentially affecting 7 million consumers at a time when many will be turning up the thermostat for the colder months ahead.
Paul Green, chief executive of switching company Energyhelpline, said that the firm had experienced six times its usual activity in the wake of the announcement as customers reviewed their energy bills and considered which provider might be the best fit.
"I would think that around 50,000 people overall have switched their energy providers – not necessarily all from SSE – following the price rise. We would expect to see more activity on Monday," he said last week.
Politicians are critical of the price hikes whilst energy firms themselves are calling for a reduction in environmental levies enforced by the Government, arguing it's these rising costs that have led to price increases.
Most suppliers start to implement rate rises after a rival has taken the first step, so consumers are being urged to compare the options and opt for a cheaper fixed rate tariff to prevent hefty bills.
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