Energy bills could rise by a collective £219m this summer – here’s how to avoid the price hike

New data shows that over a million UK households could see their energy bills rise as popular fixed deals come to an end

energy bills
(Image credit: Getty)

New data from Uswitch has shown that a significant number of UK homes could soon see their energy bills increasing, as 125 different fixed deals are due to finish at the end of July and August - ThisisMoney reports.

More than 1.5 million households could be affected by price rises, unless they switch energy supplier or tariff when their current deal ends. If they don't, most energy suppliers will automatically move them onto a standard variable tariff - which is usually more expensive. 

The data from Uswitch shows that the ‘collective increase’ on the country’s energy bills could be as much as £219m. That works out at an average of £149 per consumer. However, if you’re concerned that you’re on one of the affected tariffs, there are plenty of options for avoiding the increasing costs.

Shop around for a better deal

The first place to start is to check your existing plan and find out if it's ending soon. After this, you can run an online energy comparison and shop around for the best energy deals in your area, before making the switch to a new supplier.

This is something you can do even if your current tariff isn’t due to finish soon. Recently we've seen such big savings possible from switching that even if there were exit fees to pay for leaving a contract early, some people have still been able to save hundreds of pounds. 

Energy prices have since gone up again, but it's worth regularly comparing tariffs as you may uncover a cheaper deal that will deliver big savings on your energy bills.

Make the most of the Green Homes Grant

It's also a good idea to look at making your home more energy efficient: this can be both good for the environment and for cutting costs in the long run. By installing green upgrades like new double-glazing, fitting solar panels or replacing your old boiler, you can see notable improvements in your home’s efficiency. 

Tn fact, the Energy Saving Trust claims that having your loft properly insulated can be one of the most cost-effective approaches for making your home more efficient. It suggests that effective loft insulation can see savings of £275 a year on your energy bills.

What’s more, you could make these improvements more affordable by using the Government’s upcoming Green Homes Grant. When this is officially rolled out, eligible homeowners in England can claim vouchers worth up to £5,000 to subsidise part of the total costs for such upgrades. 

Keep an eye on the energy industry

Another useful way of avoiding price rises is to keep on top of the latest energy industry news. By doing so you can spot both the positive and negative happenings that could impact your energy bills – giving you enough time to react accordingly or plan ahead. 

Take the news that UK energy watchdog Ofgem is set to invest £25bn in upgrading the country’s gas and electricity networks, for example. That could potentially save you around £20 a year on your bills. 

We've also seen that switching to one of the best greener energy suppliers could be a smart move, thanks to the recent news that within the next three years the UK’s offshore wind farms could become so effective they will operate with ‘negative subsidies’. 

This would mean that people with 100% green energy tariffs - or those that include a mix of renewables - could enjoy significant reductions to their bills or even be paid to use up the energy surpluses the farms create.

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