Customers of energy giant npower will see their electricity and gas costs rise by 7.2% and 15.7% respectively from 1 October, adding around £140 to the average annual cost of bills.
Scott Byrom, energy channel manager at moneysupermarket.com, said "With the energy market still rife with uncertainty around future price movements I advise anyone worried about the cost of their bills to act quickly and make the switch to the best value deals on the market. We've seen some of the cheapest deals pulled and replaced with more expensive alternatives so I urge those looking for the best priced energy tariffs to make the move as soon as possible."
Millions of people face higher costs this winter unless they take action quickly. Scottish Power was the first major supplier to announce price increases this summer, hiking gas prices by 19% and electricity prices by 10% on 1 August, and adding £175 to the average cost of an annual dual fuel bill for 2.4 million customers.
British Gas was next to follow suit, increasing the cost of its standard gas by 18% and electricity by 16% from 18 August. As a result, British Gas bill payers will see almost £200 added to the average cost of a yearly bill.
Third in line was Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE). Its customers will see gas prices increase by an average of 18% for gas and 11% for electricity from 14 September. The average dual fuel customer with SSE will see bills increase by around £171 a year once the increases come into effect. SSE has promised that following this increase, bills won't rise again until August 2012 at the earliest.
E.ON was the fourth of the big six suppliers to announce price hikes. Around four million customers will see their electricity and gas costs rise by 11% and 18% respectively from 13 September. This price increase will see £132 added to the average cost of a yearly bill.
With energy costs on the up, making sure you are on the most competitive tariff you can be should be a priority. If you are nervous about prices rising again, you may want to consider locking into a fixed tariff, although online variable deals are likely to be cheaper.
EDF Energy unfortunately last week removed its market leading fixed product Fix Saver v2 tariff, which with average bills of £1,009 until September 2012 was the best way to safeguard against further price increases.
But the good news is that EDF Energy has replaced this deal with a new fixed plan that at £1,051 a year is only £42 a year more than the plan it has withdrawn. Consumers can also fix their prices for an extra three months until the end of December 2012.
Scott Byrom said; "Npower standard customers making the move to this product could save around £240 per year on average."
For the many households already struggling to cope financially, knowing that their energy bills are fixed for well over a year will provide valuable peace of mind.
Don't hang around though, as now that the majority providers have announced price hikes, the most competitive fixed rate tariffs are unlikely to be available for long. Use
MoneySupermarket.com's energy comparison tool to find the best deal for you. Cut energy costs
Switching to a fixed tariff isn't the only thing you can do to minimise the impact of energy price rises.
Being more energy efficient around your home can also reduce your energy costs. For example, every one degree you can turn your thermostat down by could save you up to about £50 a year in energy costs - so turn it down by just a couple of degrees could cut as much as £100 off your energy bills. You should also make sure your hot water and heating isn't left on longer than you need it.
Don't leave appliances on standby when you are not around either. The typical home wastes £40 a year on average by switching appliances onto standby mode rather than off completely.
Think carefully about what you can do to save energy around your home and find out how an energy usage monitor could help you in our article '
Best ways to reduce energy costs'.
Please note: Any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing.
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