SSE tariff hike amounts to £102 extra a year

Energy firms - mistrust

Energy firms - mistrustHousehold energy provider SSE has announced it is to increase tariffs by 9% on average, meaning customers will have to fork out an additional average £8.53 a month - or £102 a year.

The hike - due to come into effect on October 15 - applies across gas and electricity, impacting on around 5 and 3.4 million electricity and gas customers, respectively.

Energy price increases in wholesale markets and the rising costs of using the National Grid network were cited by SSE as reasons for the increases, which will take the average annual family bill to £1,274.

The UK's second largest energy firm, formerly known as Scottish & Southern Energy, said it will cap bills following the October price rise until at least the second half of 2013.

Back in January, the group committed to keeping household bills on hold until October.

SSE is the first of the "big six" to raise prices this year, and it is thought others might soon follow suit, with British Gas parent Centrica recently warning wholesale price rises may lead to higher bills this autumn.

Other changes

In addition to tariff increases, the group announced changes to simplify bills by introducing a new fixed standard charge of £100 per year per fuel and a single unit rate for energy used.

Fixed discount rates will be offered on this price, meaning if you are a direct debit customer you will pay £40 less a year for each fuel, while those of us paying quarterly bills will get a £20 discount per fuel.

If you pay by paperless billing you will get an extra £6 a year off, per fuel.

SSE said it will ensure around 400,000 low-usage customers can remain on a no standard charge tariff if they wish, otherwise they could see their bills rise as a result of the changes.

Reduce your bill

Sitting down and mulling over your options when it comes to selecting an energy provider is worthwhile, as a little research can uncover big savings.

It's generally a case of being able to choose the right energy tariff, at the right time.