The energy market can be something of an untamed beast at the best of times, and if the latest news is anything to go by, this proverbial beast has been well and truly unleashed for many years to come.
It was announced last week that over a million Scottish Power customers will see their energy bills increase by 7.8% this year, which equates to an extra £84 per annum.
According to Scottish Power, the increase in wholesale energy prices is the predominant reason for the rise, leaving homeowners to pick up the tab in their tariffs.
In addition to this, government levies for environmental schemes, smart metering and VAT were also considered key contributory factors by the company, who provided a definitive breakdown of the increase by way of explanation.
Unchecked Costs Need Capping
Yet on Friday, a spokeswoman from energy regulator, Ofgem, was quick to point out that the charted correlation between wholesale costs and the consumer is sketchy to say the least:
‘Ofgem’s recent analysis did not show a case for significant price increases for standard, variable tariffs where suppliers have bought energy well in advance.’
Currently, energy prices are left to rise unchecked, sparking persistent, public debate over whether the Government should play a more predominant role in capping the costs; something which Alex Neill, Managing Director of Home and Legal Services at consumer group, Which? is quick to concur with:
‘Millions of hard-pressed energy bill payers are continuing to suffer due to a lack of competition in the market.
‘If energy companies fail to properly engage with their customers, then the government and the regulator must step in.’
Stricter Regulation Essential
In light of the increased squeeze on household finances, stricter regulation is essential.
Like food and shelter, electricity and gas are everyday staples, meaning that consumers are left feeling at the mercy of the market.
Both Npower and EDF have already raised their prices, with Scottish power set to follow suit from 31st of March, with additional charges applied to their standard, variable tariffs.
British Gas Bucks the Trend
The only supplier that is bucking this terrifying trend is British Gas.
On Friday, the energy giant announced that it is planning a price freeze until August, providing a reprieve from additional costs.
How this defiant decrease will pan out in practice remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that such actions are likely to light the touch paper for a move towards price-friendly tariffs, resulting in a more consumer-centric market.
Make the Switch Today with MyEnergy
For as suppliers play price-hike hardball, savvy consumers are making the switch-and saving themselves hundreds of pounds on their energy bills in the process.
With MyEnergy, you can take back control of your costings with the help of our easy-to-use, online quoting system that provides you with total tariff transparency.
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We all use energy differently. Whether we require electricity to power our home office, or gas to heat a cold home, our bespoke switching service offers you a tailor-made plan that befits your individual needs.
Don’t remain at the mercy of the market; make the switch today by calling: 0800 1700 636.