Households in the UK have seen their annual energy bills increase by over £300 over the past three years.
Figures released by the energy watchdog Ofgem found a typical yearly dual fuel bill stands at £1,420, reflecting a 29% increase since April 2010. In August 2004, this figure stood at £600.
Energy providers have been heavily criticised by consumer groups for hiking up their prices, despite millions of households having their finances stretched to the limit.
Over the past week, two smaller providers have announced increases to their tariffs. Cooperative Energy is to raise its main 'Pioneer' tariff price by around £100, whilst First Utility confirmed it will be increasing the price of its 'iSave v12' tariff by 18% to £1,244 a year next month.
Mark Todd, director of energyhelpline, claimed competition and regulation in the energy market was an "ongoing saga" which the Government was unable to control.
"Smaller suppliers, whilst having consistently offered some of the lowest tariffs on the market, have also now followed suit rising prices on some tariffs," he said.
"These tariffs have however clearly given customers lower prices over the past year than if a customer had stayed on a big six standard rate. Our current tip is to switch to a fixed rate tariff as these guarantee prices and savings. Energy prices over the long term look like moving only in one direction – and that's up!"
Switching energy suppliers could save you up to £331 a year, with a number of low fixed tariffs offering the peace of mind of a set price for up to three years.
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