It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Scottish Power has announced that its customers’ gas bills will rise by 19% from 1st August 2011 while electricity bills will go up by an average of 10%. Apparently 700,000 households will be affected.
This comes on the back of price rises back in November when their electricity prices went up by an average of 8.9% while gas bills rose by 2%.
Scottish Power claim that "Wholesale prices for gas and electricity have increased significantly since the end of last year and continuing unrest in global energy markets means future prices are volatile''.
Well at least we haven't heard the second part before! But the real problem is that the utility companies get away with bumping up prices by hiding behind the 'wholesale price' excuse. It over simplifies the issues and misleads consumers. If you want to know how wholesale prices really work then read my article How electricity and gas prices are calculated and why they keep going up.
Don't rush to change your energy supplier just yet
As ever the press will be full of comparison websites screaming ‘this is why you should use our site to switch your supplier and save money’. You’d expect nothing less as this is how they make their money
But as I have previously pointed out, whenever utility companies start raising or cutting their bills it may pay to wait until they've all shown their cards before switching. Otherwise you could find yourself switching to a new supplier only to find they start hiking their prices by even more. But in any event Scottish Power's price rises don't come into affect until August, so you've got a while yet.
How to combat the price rises
It still pays to vigilant when it comes to how much you pay for your energy bills and there are ways to cut your bills which don’t involve switching off the lights or turning down the thermostat. To find out how read my post Lunchtime Money Makeover – Top 6 ways to reduce your energy bills.
Looking for a financial adviser near you?
Do you need financial advice? An independent financial adviser can show you how to make the most
of your money. Find your nearest qualified and regulated adviser using this VouchedFor search tool.
Alternatively, Hargreaves Lansdown, one of the UK’s largest firms providing restricted financial advice, is offering a £200 John Lewis voucher* to new clients.