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 (opens in new tab) reports.
More than 1.5 million households could be affected by price rises, unless they switch energy supplier (opens in new tab) or tariff when their current deal ends. If they don't, most energy suppliers (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and shop around for the best energy deals (opens in new tab) 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.
- Reduce your energy bills: find the cheapest tariff for your home now (opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab). 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.
FIND THE BEST ENERGY DEAL FOR YOUR HOME (opens in new tab)
We've partnered with MoneySupermarket to help you find the best energy deals in your area. Our energy comparison tool takes less than five minutes to use, and could save you hundreds on your energy bills. Just tell us your post code and how much gas and electricity you use, and we'll show you the best tariffs in your area - plus our latest exclusive offers. Save money on your energy bills now (opens in new tab)