Energy customers are expected to face “staggering” bill increases of up to £302, according to new data from Uswitch.

This represents an increase of 36 per cent as 86 fixed deals come to an end this month, adding £28 million to the energy bills of approximately 200,000 households.

The average hike will be £140 per year and households facing the biggest increases are those with Together Energy (£302) and Peterborough Energy (£258).

Paul Richards, chief executive of Together Energy, said the company will not engage in competing with “unsustainable loss making tariffs”.

“We strongly believe as well as a price cap, there should be a price collar,” he said.

Richards said:“The price for a one year deal is the same as a three year deal.

“The £302 is compared against our 19 December tariff which is the cheapest tariff we ever rolled out.

“It is around £100 cheaper than any other tariff we have put out over our last two years of trading. This was made available to a limited number of customers.”

Peterborough Energy is in a white label agreement with Ovo in two of the 14 regions Ovo operates in.

Uswitch has warned customers on tariffs due to come to an end that they will automatically be rolled onto their supplier’s default tariffs.

Out of the big six suppliers, the biggest rises facing customers will be Scottish Power (£210) and British Gas (£133).

The energy price cap, which was introduced this year, only sets an upper limit for a supplier’s default tariff – usually the most expensive on the market.

At £1,137 per year for the average user, the cap is still £165 more expensive than the cheapest fixed deal on the market.

Industry regulator Ofgem is expected to raise the level of the energy price cap by £80-£100 on 7 February, effective from April, meaning that customers with deals ending this month face a “double whammy” if they don’t take action, Uswitch said.

Of all the tariffs ending this month, 63 per cent are priced under £1,000 per year – but increases in wholesale costs mean there are now only six tariffs on the market priced under £1,000.

However, Uswitch says, there is still plenty of choice and savings to be made, with 147 tariffs cheaper than the price cap that people can switch to today.

Ofgem rules allow customers to switch suppliers without paying exit fees if they have 49 days or fewer before their plan’s end date.

Rik Smith, energy expert at Uswitch, said: “Around 200,000 households will see their energy deal end this month and with the threat of price hikes around the corner they are set for a double blow unless they take action.

“Those affected should have received a letter over the Christmas period telling them their bills will go up, but understandably there are other distractions at that time of year. However, it’s vital they now take action and lock in a new fixed deal.

“Not only will they save money straight away, they’ll also protect themselves from the inevitable wave of price rises that will hit on 1 April.”

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