We try to avoid increasing our energy prices, but sometimes it's not possible for us to absorb all the extra costs we're faced with. Energy prices are made up of a number of different costs with the biggest one being the wholesale price. That's the price we pay to buy energy from companies that generate it. And over the last six months, wholesale energy prices have gone up over 50% according to Ofgem.
What's behind the price change
Rising gas costs are the main thing behind this increase. When gas prices rise, electricity prices usually rise too because a lot of electricity is created by gas-fired power stations. And although some energy is generated from renewable sources like wind and solar, there's only one market to buy energy from. So rising prices in one area of generation impacts the whole market.
There are many reasons why gas prices have gone up. The long cold winter in Europe led to low levels of gas storage, and there's been a big surge in the demand for energy as things re-open after 2020.
The energy price cap
The energy regulator Ofgem set the maximum price we can charge customers on Standard and Pay As You Go (prepayment) variable tariffs. This is known as the energy price cap. Every six months they review the cap based on all the underlying costs that energy suppliers need to cover, including wholesale prices. If Ofgem decide the cap needs to change, we'll review our tariffs and may raise or lower our prices.
Because of the large increase in wholesale prices, Ofgem have announced the cap will go up on 1 October 2021. Our prices will also change from this date. The cap runs from 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, when it will be reviewed again by Ofgem.
How this may affect you
If you're going to be impacted by a price increase, we'll contact you beforehand, so you have time to consider your options. This price change applies to both gas and electricity Standard or Pay As You Go (pre-payment) variable tariff customers. You can find your tariff on your bill or by checking your online account or My SSE app. Our new prices will be automatically applied after the effective date, in this case, 1 October 2021. If you're on a fixed price tariff, this price change won't affect you.
You may want look at switching your energy tariff before the price change effective date. The quickest and easiest way is to compare and switch online. As we’re now part of the OVO family, you may also find an energy tariff to suit you at OVO Energy, or Boost.
Information for Pay As You Go (prepayment) customers
If you have a smart meter, we’ll update your prices on your meter automatically. If you don’t have a smart meter, top up your key or card on or after 1 October 2021 to update your meter.
If you'd like to switch to a fixed price tariff, you'll need a credit meter. We may be able to remove your Pay As You Go meter and fit a credit meter, if you don’t have any debt on your meter. If you have a smart Pay As You Go meter, we might be able to convert it to a smart credit meter without needing to visit to change it. Then you’ll be able to take advantage of our full range of tariffs.
6 ways to manage your energy
We want to help you take control of your energy and help you use less energy and save money. Here are some ways you can do just that:
Registering for an online account only takes a couple of minutes and means you can check your bills, make payments and much more whenever you need to. And for even more flexibility, download our My SSE app to manage your account on the go.
Compare our energy tariffs and switch online. A fixed-price tariff could give you peace of mind for the future. Or perhaps you'd prefer a great value Bundle combining energy with broadband or heating cover.
Smart meters help you see the energy you're using, so you can make energy saving changes to keep costs under control. It's easy to book an appointment online and get a smart meter installed at a time that suits you.
Giving us your meter readings, means you know you're being billed accurately. You can send us your readings via your online account – if you don't have one, why not register now? Or you can give your readings using our online form. If you have a smart or Pay As You Go meter, there's no need to send us a reading, unless you move home.
If you don’t already pay by Direct Debit, then you may want to consider it. You pay a fixed amount on the same date each month, spreading the cost of your bills across the year. Paying by Direct Debit is our default payment method, so if you choose a different payment method your prices may be higher. You'll get a discount paying by Direct Debit, the value of which is unique based on where you live, your meter type and how much energy you use. If you have a Pay As You Go meter, you'll need to replace it with a credit meter to get the Direct Debit discount.
From simple, free changes like turning your thermostat down, to bigger ideas about insulation and energy efficient appliances we've got plenty of advice on ways to save energy and money.
Have more questions?
What extra help is available for vulnerable customers?
I have a Direct Debit – what should I do?
We review your Direct Debit every six months and if your payments need to go up, we will let you know. If you don't have a Direct Debit, you can manage your payments by registering online.
I'm on a fixed-price tariff – do these changes affect me?
If you're on a fixed-price energy deal, your prices won't change until the end of your contract. We'll write to you with all your options before your contract ends. For the time being, you don't have to do anything.
What help can I get if I'm having difficulty paying my bills?
If you're struggling to pay your bills, the most important thing is to get in touch as soon as possible so we can help.
I've changed to a fixed-price SSE tariff – why did I receive a letter saying my prices are changing?
If we increase our prices, we write to all of our Standard tariff customers to let them know. So if you’ve switched to a fixed-price tariff with us, please ignore the letter as the price change won't affect you.
What does the sale of SSE's retail business to OVO mean for me?
The change in energy price isn't related to the sale to OVO. Find out more about SSE and OVO.
My home is all electric – what help can you offer me?
Have a look at our electric tariffs and heating advice on how to use your electric heating efficiently.
What happens if I change supplier?
If you switch to another supplier, you’ll keep your current rates until you leave us, as long as your new supplier tells us within 20 working days of our price change date that they’ll be taking over your supply. This date is 1 October 2021 for customers on our Standard and Pay As You Go (prepayment) variable tariffs.
If you owe us any money, your switch might be held up until your account is settled. We’ll let you know if there’s a balance to pay, and if you clear it within 30 days, your switch can still go ahead and you can stay on your current rates until you leave us.