Consumers may want to switch energy provider as bills soar

Consumers may want to switch utility provider as one of the country's leading energy companies has announced price hikes.

Scottish Power announced a hike in both its gas and electricity prices yesterday (June 7th) and it is thought that millions of households will be affected.

From August 1st, the energy company will be increasing its gas bills by 19 per cent and electricity bills by ten per cent, affecting five million families.

It is thought that most of these households will be faced with annual household bills of £1,400.

Audrey Gallacher, head of energy at Consumer Focus, said: "We know suppliers like the comfort of the pack and that price rises come in waves.

"Every household in the country will now be bracing themselves 'for impact'."

It is thought that half a million households will struggle to pay their energy bills if the other five energy companies follow suit.

Last night, a party of MPs on the House of Commons business, innovations and skills committee called for an inquiry into energy price hikes if the other five companies also increase their tariffs.

Scottish Power has been criticised for the price hike, as the Spanish-owned company made £80 million in operating profit last year.

However, the firm has said that the wholesale price of gas and electricity has jumped by 30 per cent since November, which will be filtered down to consumers.

Families concerned about the impact that this price hike will have on their energy bills may want to switch utility provider.

They can do this by using a price comparison site, such as, to find which tariffs are currently available and how much they cost.

Online energy tariffs tend to be cheaper than those obtained by phoning an energy company as the administration costs are lower.

Another option could be to replace an old boiler with a more energy-efficient one which can be done through British Gas.

The firm is offering £400 off a new Worcester Bosch boiler, which is energy-efficient and will reduce the amount of energy that is wasted. This will also help reduce the cost of bills.

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