Households to face inflation-busting price hikes from April 1
Consumers are to be hit by a raft of inflation-busting price hikes on April 1 as increases in the cost of household utilities and essentials such as stamps take effect.
Some 11 million households on poor value standard variable energy tariffs are facing a collective £1.3 billion bill increase after 23 suppliers raised their prices to meet Ofgem’s latest price cap.
Up to 3.6 million households with prepayment gas and electricity meters will also see the cap on their energy tariffs increased by the regulator by an average £106 per year.
These price hikes may appear small and nothing to worry about in isolation, but add them all together and they could cost you £240 extra a year
NHS dental costs Increase: 5% Increase per year: £3 (Based on Band 2 charge) Air passenger duty Increase: 10% Increase per year: £32 (Based on two adults flying long-haul once per year, standard class) TV licence Increase: 2.7% Increase per year: £4 Prescription costs Increase: 2.27% Increase per year: 60p (Based on three prescriptions per year) Energy costs Increase: 10% Increase per year: £117 (Price cap on standard variable tariffs are rising from £1,136 to £1,254). Total: £240.85 (Source: money.co.uk)
Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone are all raising their mobile contract prices and customers with Sky Entertainment, Sky Fibre Broadband and Sky Talk Anytime will see an increase of £2 a month for each service.
Gas and electricity – up £117
On 1 April, the energy regulator Ofgem’s price cap rises by £117 a year, effectively allowing all the energy firms to increase prices on their most expensive variable tariffs up to the new capped figure of £1,256. The big suppliers have all announced prices will go up, and the new rates will add about £100 to annual bills between April and July. Npower will have the highest variable tariff at £1,230, after it raises prices on 17 June. E.on’s will be the lowest of the big six at £1,153.
Anyone on a standard tariff will be overpaying by around £200 a year after these planned hikes, so act now and switch to a cheaper deal.
It is not just those on variable tariffs that will see price hikes next month. Energyhelpline says that 47 fixed-price deals are coming to an end on 1 April alone, and the average increase faced by affected customers if they do nothing is £153. If you haven’t switched supplier in recent years or were on recently ended deal, you need to take action and find a cheaper deal.
The average household in England facing the second biggest increase in council tax in a decade. a £78 hike in Council Tax from April, the second highest increase in the last decade, while they also face an £8 or 2% increase on water bills to £415 and a £4 increase for a TV licence to £154.50.
Council tax – up £42
April Fools’ Day will also see council tax bills rise. Three-quarters of local authorities are set to increase tax by more than 2.5%, the Local Government Information Unit has said, although in some cash-strapped areas they will rise by double that.
Owners of average band D homes will typically pay an extra £42 a year. In Northamptonshire and Gloucestershire the rises are 5% and 4.99%, while in Oldham and Cornwall it is 3.99%.
Average water and sewerage bill in England and Wales will also rise on the same day by £8 to £415 a year on average.
The biggest rise is set to hit households in Yorkshire, with an average increase of £16 to £401 a year by Yorkshire Water – a 4% increase on current prices. Thames Water bills will rise 3% to an average of £398. In contrast, bills for South West Water customers will decrease by an average of 2%, albeit to a higher average £491 a year bill.
Lastly the NHS prescription charge in England will increase by 20p to £9 on 1 April. Residents in Wales and Scotland receive free prescriptions.
The cost of going to an NHS dentist in England also rises on 1 April. Band one inspection rises by £1.10 to £22.70. Band two charges, covering procedures such as root canals, rise by £3 to £62.10.
“You won’t be able to avoid some of the increases, but you can certainly take control when it comes to managing the cost of your energy, phone and broadband.
“The more money you can keep in your pocket the better.