Worried about the cost of your energy going up? With both British Gas and EDF announcing increases to their standard tariff, it could be time to switch to a better deal.

Two of the country’s ‘big six’ energy suppliers have announced a hike in their energy prices, and with other suppliers likely to follow suit, now is the time to take charge of your energy costs.

What’s happening?

British Gas is raising the price of its standard dual fuel tariff – both gas and electricity – by an average of £60 (or 5.5%) for both British Gas and Sainsbury’s Energy customers.

It will affect over 4.1m customers when it kicks in on 29 May and means that its standard tariff will now be £369 more expensive than the cheapest deal on the market. Customers who do not pay by direct debit could face even stiffer price rises of over £90.

British Gas say that rising wholesale gas and electricity costs and Government policy costs are the cause of increase.

EDF also announced it will be upping the price of its standard variable electricity tariff by 2.7% on 7 June. While its gas prices will stay the same, electricity will rise by an average of £16.

Claire Osborne, uSwitch.com energy expert, said: “The danger now is that the rest of the big six may be tempted to follow suit. Customers can send the clearest message that they won’t tolerate being taken for a ride by switching supplier to a cheaper tariff.”

What can you do about it?

If you are paying a standard variable rate tariff with any energy supplier, now is the time to switch to a fixed rate deal. Not only could it be immediately cheaper, you’ll be protecting yourself from any future price hikes.

Energy customers could save up to a staggering £491 a year by switching energy provider, according to uSwitch.

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Switching supplier is the quick and simple way to cut household costs

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How do I switch?

Switching couldn’t be easier. The whole process can be carried out in 6 simple steps:

1. Click on compare now (above) and punch in your postcode.

2. Enter details of your current energy supplier and tariff. (If you’re not sure, you can just enter estimated monthly costs.)

3. You’ll be able to see all the energy deals available in your area.

4. Choose a supplier and plan that suits you.

5. Confirm the switch by providing your full address and bank details (if you've chosen a direct debit plan, which are usually the cheapest).

6. All done! Your new supplier will be alerted to and get in contact after the two-week cooling off period (which is there in the event you change your mind and want to cancel) with follow up information about your service switch date.

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