SSE price hike sparks concern over fuel poverty

October 28, 2013

The recent announcement from energy provider, SSE, revealing a decision to implement an 8.3 per cent increase in average energy prices, has raised concern amongst UK consumers.

Around 7.3 million UK gas and electricity customers will be affected by the rise, which will come into effect from November 15. At three times the level of Consumer Price Index inflation, this massive price increase will have a huge effect on consumer budgets which are already under intense pressure.

Customers in central Scotland will see the smallest increase of 7 per cent, whilst those in the north of Scotland could see prices increase by 8.7 per cent.

The average dual fuel energy bill will rise by over £100 per year and with so many consumers already struggling to pay the bills, many will have no choice but to turn off the heating. For those who keep the heating on, it’s possible some consumers will be forced to take out loans or credit cards to make ends meet.

SSE is not the only energy provider now planning to raise its prices and the Citizens Advice Bureau has warned that it expects to see an “avalanche” of price increases follow the announcement.

Citizens Advice Bureau chief executive, Gillian Guy, voiced her concerns in a recent statement. She said: “Many households are facing a daily battle to try to make their frozen incomes cover mounting energy, food and travel costs. Further increases will push people into poverty.”

If you are falling behind on payments, it’s important to contact your energy supplier directly. Energy companies have a large number of customers, and may not be aware that you’re struggling. It’s common for suppliers to arrange a monthly payment plan to get you back on track if you can’t afford to pay a lump sum. Also, don’t forget to discuss your current tariff with your provider or visit one of the leading price comparison websites to compare prices. There may be a better deal to suit you and help you avoid any future energy debt. Often, something as simple as switching to direct debit can save around £200 per year.

It’s important to remember though, that energy bills are considered a priority debt, so it’s imperative you act immediately if you can’t afford to pay.

There are five million homes in the UK struggling with energy bills, so you’re not alone if energy prices are becoming a problem for you. If you need help prioritising your debts, why not contact us at Scotland Debt Solutions and we’ll discuss the most suitable solution to get your finances back on track.

Around 7.3 million UK gas and electricity customers will be affected by the rise, which will come into effect from November 15. At three times the level of Consumer Price Index inflation, this massive price increase will have a huge effect on consumer budgets which are already under intense pressure.

Customers in central Scotland will see the smallest increase of 7 per cent, whilst those in the north of Scotland could see prices increase by 8.7 per cent.

The average dual fuel energy bill will rise by over £100 per year and with so many consumers already struggling to pay the bills, many will have no choice but to turn off the heating. For those who keep the heating on, it’s possible some consumers will be forced to take out loans or credit cards to make ends meet.

SSE is not the only energy provider now planning to raise its prices and the Citizens Advice Bureau has warned that it expects to see an “avalanche” of price increases follow the announcement.

Citizens Advice Bureau chief executive, Gillian Guy, voiced her concerns in a recent statement. She said: “Many households are facing a daily battle to try to make their frozen incomes cover mounting energy, food and travel costs. Further increases will push people into poverty.”

If you are falling behind on payments, it’s important to contact your energy supplier directly. Energy companies have a large number of customers, and may not be aware that you’re struggling. It’s common for suppliers to arrange a monthly payment plan to get you back on track if you can’t afford to pay a lump sum. Also, don’t forget to discuss your current tariff with your provider or visit one of the leading price comparison websites to compare prices. There may be a better deal to suit you and help you avoid any future energy debt. Often, something as simple as switching to direct debit can save around £200 per year.

It’s important to remember though, that energy bills are considered a priority debt, so it’s imperative you act immediately if you can’t afford to pay.

There are five million homes in the UK struggling with energy bills, so you’re not alone if energy prices are becoming a problem for you. If you need help prioritising your debts, why not contact us at Scotland Debt Solutions and we’ll discuss the most suitable solution to get your finances back on track.

John Baird

Insolvency Adviser

Tel: 0800 063 9250

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