Energy bill price rises set to start this week

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Energy suppliers E.ON and Scottish and Southern Power will introduce their latest price hikes this week.

Both companies announced planned price rises for gas and electricity bills a few weeks ago - the new tariffs will go "live" this week.

E.ON will raise its electricity prices by 11.4% and gas by 18.1% on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Scottish and Southern will hike its gas costs by 18% and its electricity by 11%.

British Gas and Scottish Power have already introduced similar rises, whilst Npower's rises are set to hit in October.

That leaves just EDF Energy from the UK's "big six" firms - which supply power to 99% of homes - to announce a rise. Whilst EDF has widely been expected to raise prices in line with its competitors, it is yet to make an announcement.

It has, however, introduced a new fixed price tariff, until September 2012, which offers to freeze the price of customers' energy bills for a year.

With the summer sun fading out for another year, heating and electricity use is about to skyrocket in homes across the country. There's no better time to look for cheap gas and electricity deals to make sure you are not paying too much over the winter. It can take more than a month to switch energy providers, so it's worth checking out what deals are available on an energy comparison site now.

Signing up online often attracts a discount, and opting for a dual fuel package, and paying by Direct Debit, can help cut costs further.

In the meantime, ensuring you have adequate insulation, double glazing and an energy-efficient boiler could help dramatically reduce your winter fuel bills.

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Click here to run an energy price comparison, and see if you could be paying less for your gas and electricity.

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