MILLIONS of energy customers will be hit by bill rises within days, with some paying over £100 more a year.
Economy tariffs will go up by as much as 8.9% from January 1 in a further shock to households.
At least nine suppliers have confirmed that customers will see increases from next month.
Customers with one energy provider could see their yearly bill jump by as much as £143.
On Economy 7 and 10 tariffs customers are charged different rates depending on what time of the day they use energy.
Usually, they pay less for energy at night than during the day.
Customers on standard tariffs will also see bills rise, but by far less.
The reason for the bill hikes is down to the way the Ofgem price cap works.
In October, the government introduced a discount on bills – known as the energy price guarantee – which means the average household on a dual-fuel tariff won’t pay more than £2,500 a year.
This will rise to £3,000 a year in April when the guarantee is extended.
But energy regulator Ofgem still sets the price cap on what suppliers can charge.
The next price rise comes from January 1, which means the discount on bills will change very slightly from this date.
This is because the energy price guarantee is a flat rate discount, but Ofgem sets different rates depending on the region.
This means some customers’ bills may fall from January, but millions could see an unexpected rise, including those on Economy tariffs.
Furious customers have complained about the surprise bill hike.
Pensioner Alan Martin told The Sun: “I think it’s ridiculous.
“I find it a bit unfair that they can suddenly increase the Economy 7 tariffs and have kept it all quiet.
“And it’s all part of the energy price guarantee scheme and no one has said anything about it until now.
“I’m only on a private pension and state pension.”
The 76-year-old from Tattershall Bridge, Lincolnshire is with Shell Energy.
On December 14 the supplier told him his rate would be going up from 39.36p per kWh to 41.26p per kWh.
This means he will pay an extra £45 a year on top of his current bill.
Mr Martin said Shell is letting him switch to a single-rate tariff, where there is a standard rate regardless of the time of day.
But he remains annoyed he has only just been told and fears for others being sprung with extra costs too.
He said: “I understand what’s going on and I can change my tariff. But I’ve spoken to several people since and they didn’t know about it.”
A Shell Energy spokesperson said: “Due to the design of Ofgem’s Price Cap and the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee, those on Economy 7 meters will see a slightly higher increase in January.
“Customers who don’t have storage heaters in their home and have low overnight electricity usage might be better off on a single rate tariff, and we can arrange a switch for customers who would like to move across.”
The Sun approached all the major energy providers to see what is happening to their customers on Economy 7 and 10 tariffs from January.
Ovo Energy and Scottish Power did not respond to multiple request for comment.
Octopus Energy is hiking prices for 300,000 customers on Economy 7 tariffs by 8% on average from January 1.
The hike will see bills rise by up to £125 a year, but the exact amount will depend on where you live.
All affected customers have been contacted informing them of the increase.
The provider doesn’t offer Economy 10 tariffs.
British Gas will hike prices on its Economy 7 tariffs. It does not offer Economy 10 tariffs.
The supplier declined to say how much they will rise by or how many customers are affected.
A British Gas spokesperson said it will be amending its prices for customers in line with the Ofgem price cap and the government’s energy price guarantee.
They added customers’ bills will be determined by how much they use.
One E.On Next customer took to social media to say they had been informed their Economy 7 tariff will go up from January.
They said their night rate is going from 13.968p per kWh to 16.411p per kWh – a 17% increase.
And their night rate is going up by around 6% – from 42.224p per kWh to 44.668p per kWh.
E.On declined to comment on how many other customers on Economy 7 tariffs will see their bill rise and by how much.
It does not offer Economy 10 tariffs.
A spokesperson said it is in the process of writing to any customers who will be impacted by Ofgem’s increased price cap from January.
Bulb is hiking Economy 7 tariffs for some customers, with one complaining of an 8% increase.
They took to Twitter to say their day unit rate is going from 38.593p to 41.687p per kWh and their night rate from 22.838p to 24.669p per kWh.
Bulb said that some customers on Economy 7 tariffs will see their bills go up while others could see them go down.
That’s because of the different regional Ofgem unit rates and if customers use less energy bills could go down.
Bulb Energy doesn’t provide Economy 10 tariffs.
The supplier declined to say how much the bills could go up or down by, or how many customers are affected.
Customers impacted by the change in rates will be contacted within the next few days, it said.
All So Energy customers on an Economy 7 tariff will see their bills rise in January.
The supplier declined to say how much rates will increase by and how many customers are affected.
An EDF spokesperson said some of its Economy 7 and 10 customers may see an increase in their bills from January 1.
The provider has written to the impacted customers to say whether they can save by switching to a single rate tariff.
The amount customers will pay extra depends on how they pay for their energy.
Customers who pay by cash cheque will see the biggest average rise of 8.9% – £143.97 extra a year.
A typical dual-fuel customer on an Economy 7 tariff paying this way will see their bill rise from £1,610.72 a year to £1,754.69 from January 1.
And on Economy 10 tariffs it will rise from £1,595.19 a year to £1,733.52 – £138.33 a year more.
Meanwhile those paying by direct debit will see bills rise by £103.90 a year on Economy 7 tariffs and by £98.51 on Economy 10.
Finally those on prepayment meters and with Economy 7 tariffs will see their bill rise by £100.21 a year on average.
EDF doesn’t offer Economy 10 tariffs to customers on prepayment meters.
Bear in mind that’s just for the average bill and the exact amount you pay will depend on your use.
Thousands of customers on Economy 7 tariffs will see an average increase of 5% on their yearly bills from January 1.
All impacted customers have been told about the change. Utilita declined to say exactly how many are affected.
Thousands of E7 and E10 customers with Utility Warehouse will experience a price increase – but some will also see bills fall.
That’s because it will depend on customer’s usage and Ofgem’s regional rates.
The provider’s day rates on average are going up by 6.87p per kWh and its night rates are going down by 3.85p per kWh on average.
The supplier declined to share current night and day rates or how much bills will rise or fall by, saying that rates vary depending on the region and what services customers use.
Economy 7 customers will see prices rise in January.
The supplier didn’t say how much by or how many customers are affected.
But Mr Martin told the Sun that his bill will rise by £45 a year – or 4.8%.
A Shell Energy spokesperson said all customers impacted by bill rises are being written to.
They added for the “vast majority” of customers, this will not trigger any change in monthly payments.
What energy bill help can I get?
If you’re worried about paying your energy bills, don’t worry as there is support on offer.
Plenty of energy providers offer grants to customers struggling to pay their way.
British Gas, E.ON, Octopus and Ovo all offer grants worth hundreds of pounds.
For the full list, you can read our guide here.
Plus, millions of households are currently receiving support through the £400 energy rebate, which has been split into six monthly instalments.
We explain how paying for your bill in a different way might impact how you’re issued the £400 rebate here.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
You might be able to get help through the Household Support Fund too.
And thousands are due £50 payments after temperatures plummeted.
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