How Wholesale Gas Price Rises Affect your Energy Bill

Wholesale Gas

What’s in this guide?


Did you know that UK household energy bills have rocketed by £590 million so far just this year?

Unfortunately, those who are going to suffer the most are people who don’t or haven’t ever switched suppliers.


By not looking for the most competitive deal, many households have been automatically placed on their supplier’s most expensive tariff.

This could be costing you £100s every year.

Yes, really.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about wholesale energy prices, including what they are and price changes in 2018.

What is wholesale energy?

Wholesale energy refers to the power that your energy supplier purchases in bulk, to cover the demand of its customers.

Your energy company has to estimate your usage and the number of customers.

If they don’t buy enough, they will pay for it down the line by having to buy emergency gas at a larger price.

So, this means higher costs for customers.

Many larger suppliers such as Npower are blaming the rising wholesale costs of energy for raising their prices, but according to Ofgem that doesn’t make much sense.

How does it affect your bills?

Unfortunately, when one supplier ups their prices, other suppliers generally tend to follow suit.

As each supplier can choose how much to charge you and when many larger companies have been criticised for not passing on the generous savings when the wholesale energy prices drop.

However, they are the first to increase prices when the market adjusts.

Your energy bill will only change due to price adjustments if you haven’t got a fixed rate tariff.

Price changes in 2018

Supplier SVT Tariff Name Previous SVT price New SVT price Difference Comes into effect from:
Ebico Ebico Zero £1,101 £1,161 £60 5.50% 16th January
Octopus Energy Flexible Octopus £908 £931 £23 2.50% 15th February
iSupply iVariable £1,014 £1,090 £76 7.50% 1st March
Pure Planet 100% Green £860 £872 £12 1.40% 31st March, 1st May
ENGIE Safe And Easy £980 £1,038 £58 5.90% 4th April
Our Power Our Best £848 £939 £91 10.70% 4th April
Ecotricity Green Electricity + Green Gas £1,201 £1,258 £58 4.80% 14th April
Igloo Energy IGLOO PIONEER £845 £871 £26 3.10% 16th April
E.ON E.ON Energy Plan £1,123 £1,153 £30 2.70% 19th April
Bulb Vari-Fair £855 £878 £24 2.80% 28th April
British Gas British Gas Standard Variable Tariff £1,101 £1,161 £60 5.50% 29th May
Scottish Power Standard £1,147 £1,211 £64 5.60% 1st June
EDF Energy Standard (Variable) £1,142 £1,158 £16 1.40% 7th June
Ovo Simpler Energy £1,097 £1,150 £53 4.80% 8th June
npower Standard SC £1,166 £1,230 £64 5.50% 17th June
First utility First Variable £1,131 £1,191 £60 5.30% 23rd July
Utility Warehouse Value £1,125 £1,175 £50 4.40% 1st July
SSE Standard £1,189 £1,196 £87 7.90% 11th July
Bulb Vari-Fair £878 £923 £45 5.10% 12th August
E.ON E.ON Energy Plan £1,153 £1,208 £55 4.80% 16th August
Bristol Energy Standard Variable £997 £1,079 £82 8.20% 9th September
Average £1,037 £1,089 £52 5%

Top energy suppliers

Take a look at some of the EnergySeeks top picks for electricity and gas suppliers, which are some of the highest rated companies on trusted websites such as Trustpilot.

Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy

Octopus Energy is an award-winning energy supplier that has been taking over customers from other companies such as M&S energy as well as Iresa when it went out of business earlier this year.

Not only does it offer one of the cheapest tariffs on the market today, but they have also got a proven record of being one of the best for customer service.

Octopus energy ranked at number three in the Which? Survey in 2018, and it’s the only energy supplier to earn the title of a Which? Recommended Provider for 2018.

Liz Griffith on Trustpilot: Simple operations will always win! No overcomplicated mumbo-jumbo like the rest!


Bulb logo

Bulb is an energy supplier that is quickly growing in popularity in 2018 with over 5,000 reviews on Trustpilot, boasting a high 5-star rating with 92% of their total reviews positive.

The only potential negative with Bulb is that they only offer one tariff, and it’s a variable rate tariff.

What does this mean? It means that the cost of your energy is dependent on the open market, which is affected by things such as politics and the time of the year.

You could make some significant savings if prices go down, but of course, you would run the risk of the energy prices increasing and leaving you with a big bill.

Zac on Trustpilot: Great company, very cheap and true to their word. I would recommend them, I have saved a lot of money since being with them.

So Energy

So Energy logo

At number 9 in the Which? Energy Survey 2018, although So Energy doesn’t rank as highly as it’s independent competitors, it is still above the ‘big six’ and has a great 5-star rating on Trustpilot.

They claim to give their customers great value for money, honesty and simplicity, with 100% renewable energy and low price commitment.

Melekio Sibanda on Trustpilot: Most important thing for me is the excellent communication between you and us. Timely responses to queries. Thank you for that, and I have already recommended one person to you!


Affect Energy

With the experience of over 50 years with a more significant supplier, although Affect is a relatively new supplier, they aren’t entirely new to the industry.

86% of their 1,500+ reviews on Trustpilot fall within the 5-star category, though they don’t seem to have made it to the Which? Energy Survey 2018 – this could be because there weren’t enough people in the survey that were customers.

Mr Ratzke on Trustpilot: A great bunch of people to deal with, on the phone or via the website and competitive in their offering. We have two separate supplies from them which we manage via one account. Could not be easier.

Company Bulb So Energy Affect Octopus Energy
Overall Trustpilot Score ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★ ★★★★★
Discounts No No £15.75 per fuel per year No
The average cost for dual fuel three bedroom home £82 £78 £90.00 £77.76
Positive Reviews on Trustpilot 92% Positive 86% Positive 86% Positive 91% Positive


Are you interested comparing or switching energy supplier?

Did you know that you could be saving up to £500 on your energy bills every year?

Take a look at the EnergySeek guides to find out more about your energy, or see reviews of the top 7 energy switching sites to compare gas & electricity.