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Thinking of switching your energy supplier? Well, in short... don't.
Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, has issued a warning for those coming to the end of their tariff, or considering making a move to a different supplier.
With wholesale prices of gas soaring in recent weeks, prices are now at astronomical levels - the highest they've ever been in the UK.
And Martin says that locking yourself into a new contract now would mean you'd end up paying a lot more for energy.
Here are the exact figures:
Martin found that the cheapest fixed price tariff for energy has now shot up to £523 a year in the last month alone.
This means that the cheapest tariff is now much pricier than the energy price cap which is in place for those on a variable tariff.
To give you an example, a month ago, the cheapest fixed price tariff came to £1,177 a year compared to a £1,138 on the energy price cap, for someone with typical usage.
Meanwhile, the current rates are now £1,700 a year for the cheapest fixed price tariff and £1,277 a year if you're on the energy price cap.
This means if you switch now, you're basically signing up to pay more.
Sharing the news on Twitter, Martin was clearly dumbfounded by what he'd discovered, writing: "Oh my..word. "One month ago: Energy price cap £1,138/yr, Cheapest fix £1,177/yr, (for someone with typical usage).
"Today: Energy price cap £1,277/yr, Cheapest fix £1,700/yr.
"Astronomical. Shocking. DONT SWITCH right now."
Martin went on to tell followers that prices of wholesale energy had risen massively in the last week, too, despite the fact they were already sitting at "outrageous levels".
He said he believes that more energy companies will end up folding soon as a result.
"With wholesale energy prices having risen significantly in the last week - when a week ago they were already at outrageous levels beyond prior highs... Clearly, more energy firms will go bust," the Money Saving Expert said.
If you're one of those people whose supplier has gone bust though, don't worry, as it means you'll be put on a price plan with your new supplier, which will be capped, and won't soar to the current levels.
The depressing thing is that this isn't the end of the crisis, either, according to Martin's predictions.
And even those on a price cap (around 50 per cent of UK homes) are going to end up paying more, seeing as they change every six months.
"What no-one is telling you and what's most important is what happens next, because the price cap changes every six months and it’s important to know that the current price cap is based on wholesale prices from the beginning of February until the end of July," Martin said.
“But on the first of April next year we will have a new price cap and that is based on the current wholesale prices all the way up to the end of January.”
Starting a tweet saying "oh sh*t," he explained: "The current 1 Oct - 1 Apr energy price cap is £1,277/yr (on typical use.)
"The assessment period for next cap starting 1 Apr is Aug - Jan.
"I've just asked @cornwallinsight [a Cornwall insight analyst] and it predicts cap will then rise to £1,660 at current run rates.
"Many will be desperate".
One thing is for sure, prices are going to go up, but it certainly looks like staying put is the safest bet right now...
Featured Image Credit: PA
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