ENERGY customers face a surprise price change from January 1.
Major suppliers are hiking bills for some households while others may pay less in the new year.
The changes come as part of the government's energy price guarantee, which limits the average bill at £2,500 a year.
But regulator Ofgem still sets the price cap on what suppliers can charge and the next update takes effect on January 1.
That means there may be a slight difference in bill prices from this date.
The change will be different depending on who you're with, how you pay and where you live, as the supplier decides the difference.
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So that means your bill could either rise or fall. Keep in mind for most it will be pennies difference.
But for some people on Eco tariffs, where you pay different rates in the night and day, they could pay nearly £150 more over the course of a year.
The hike will be worst for those on standard tariffs in North Wales and the Merseyside area who pay for their electricity after the fact, and not by direct debit.
Their bills are set to rise by more than £5 per month between January and April.
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But those in the north of England will likely pay around £3.90 less per month from Sunday.
Prepayment meter customers will see an average bill increase of £1.50, while those who pay by direct debit will see an average increase of just two pence.
The changes are made to the amount that energy suppliers charge per unit of gas and electricity they supply.
These changes come into force at the beginning of January and last until the beginning of April.
The Ofgem price cap has always been set at slightly different levels based on where someone lives and how they pay.
The current cap on bills is set at £2,500 and is based on the average dual-fuel bill.
The actual amount you pay will depend on usage as it's the unit rate that's capped.
It's these unit rates that vary by location and are changing slightly at the start of the year.
From April the cap is set to increase again to £3,000. January's increase is not as drastic, with some even paying less.
But again it depends on the supplier and where you live. Here's what each supplier is doing.
You might see a rise if you're with Bulb, depending on where you live as well.
A spokesperson previously told The Sun that it will depend on your meter type and how you pay for energy as well, and that some customers will also see no change.
You'll be contacted either by email or letter.
Overall, the typical prepayment meter customer will pay around £2,579.50 a year.
Direct debit customers will pay around £2,500 a year on average.
Although Bulb doesn't provide Economy 10 tariffs, you might see a rise if you're on Economy 7.
It's confirmed it will be hiking Economy 7 tariffs for some customers, and one even complained 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.
But the different regional Ofgem unit rates mean where you live is a big factor in any price rises, and you'll be notified if you're about to face any hikes.
If you're with So Energy, you may notice your bills rise.
But standard rate standard energy tariff customers in the Eastern, Midlands, South Eastern and Southern regions won't be affected by increases.
But you're not out of the woods if you're in those regions – it still depends on the tariff you're on.
Those on "So Flex" tariffs should check any price change notifications for details about how they'll be impacted.
The So Flex tariff is the provider's standard variable tariff.
But the supplier says everyone on that tariff has already been contacted by email or post.
Otherwise, 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.
E.On customers on prepayment meters will not be affected by the Ofgem energy price cap rise.
However, the firm it was writing to customers to let them know what the new price cap from January 1 "means for them".
This applies to E.On Next customers too.
E.On has not yet clarified what customers this will impact, so you should keep an eye out for emails or letters.
As for those on Economy 7 tariffs, E.On declined to comment on how many other customers could 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.
This follows one E.On Next customer who revealed their Economy 7 tariff was to 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.
Certain EDF customers will notice an increase in energy next month.
The Sun understands all affected customers should have been notified about changes by now.
Those who pay for their energy by cash cheque will on average see bills go up from around £2,715 to £2,754 a year – a rise of £39.
And those on prepayment meters from £2,560 to £2,579 on average per year – a rise of £19.
Direct debit payees won't see a change to their average yearly bill.
If you're on an Economy 7 or 10 tariff with EDF, you may also experience price hikes.
The provider has said it's written to the impacted customers to say whether they can save by switching to a single rate tariff.
But EDF doesn't offer Economy 10 tariffs to customers on prepayment meters.
Octopus Energy said the supplier had decided to absorb the upcoming rises for its customers whilst passing on any reductions.
However, they added that customers on Economy 7 tariffs will see a rise of around 8% from January.
Around 10% of Octopus Energy's customers are on these tariffs, which means around 300,000 customers will be impacted.
It means bills could 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 customers on Economy 7 tariffs will be noticing a price rise. It does not offer Economy 10 tariffs.
The supplier would not reveal how much they will rise by or how many customers are affected.
It did however confirm it would be amending its prices 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.
Customers on Economy 7 tariffs will experience increase of roughly 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 that all customers impacted by bill rises are being written to.
Shell said that the "vast majority" of customers will not see any change in monthly payments.
The Sun has contacted all of the above suppliers for a comment on the change, and we'll update this story when we hear back.
More energy bill help
There are also more ways to help with your bills if you find out you'll be facing a hike.
Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.
The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you'll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.
Households in England and Wales don't need to apply to get the cash and they'll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who's eligible here.
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF's energy customer support fund
- E.on's energy fund
- Npower's energy fund
- Ovo's debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power's hardship fund
Pensioners will also be getting a £300 one-off payment.
You can read more about eligibility for that here.
You qualify under the current rules if you normally get the Winter Fuel Payment, but this could change under the new rules.
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