THE founder of MoneySavingExpert.com has urged all households across the country to compare energy prices urgently as bills are set to rise by up to £96 a year.

But most can save £200 or more a year by switching providers.

Energy regulator Ofgem said yesterday that suppliers could pass on the cost of rising gas and electricity prices to customers meaning that for 11m typical energy customers are likely to see their bills go up by £96 to £1,138 a year from April 1. For 4m pre-payment meter customers it will go up by £87 to £1,156.

READ MORE: 'Scandal: Scots anger over energy price rise while fuel debts hit a five year high

But Martin Lewis, founder of the MoneySavingExpert.com said the silver lining is that it will "hopefully shock some people into action".

HeraldScotland:

He said the new cap level isn't the maximum anyone will pay. The price cap sets a limit on the rates you pay for each unit of gas and electricity, so if you use more, you'll pay more.

He said: "The cap may be a ‘fair’ price, but it is far from a good one. Over the last few years, it has been on average at least £200 a year more than the cheapest tariffs for switchers, on average. This rise is really reverting it back to form – it was only artificially low until now on the back of the huge reduction in world energy prices, due to the early days of the pandemic.

"Yet there’s an important warning for the 10,000s who will flood towards comparison sites right now. These sites (including ours at MoneySavingExpert) won't show the right saving. The saving shown will be listed compared to the current price cap level, as if you’d stick on that for a year. "It won’t include this big jump due to come, lasting at least six months, from April. That can only usually be factored in once energy firms publish their new, detailed rates for each region – which could be weeks away.

"So while I’d strongly urge everyone on a standard tariff to compare and find their cheapest supplier – don’t be put off by the relatively small saving shown. In reality it's likely to be much bigger."

According to price comparison site Uswitch.com the best value fixed deal currently available on the market is £945 from Avro Energy, while the new price cap will sit at £1,138, for typical usage. This means that by switching, households could save themselves £193 across their annual energy bills.  

British Gas which trades as Scottish Gas north of the border and Glasgow-based ScottishPower are both on the current best buy table.

HeraldScotland:

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at Uswitch.com, said: “The good news is that there are plenty of fixed deals available that would protect households from market volatility and provide not just certainty and reassurance, but significant cost savings. "

Mr Lewis added: "Even after the price cap is announced, we then have to wait again until the firms announce their own new tariff and until they send out the rate cards for that, comparison sites just have to base you on what they currently say they'll charge.

"So ultimately, they'll tell you they're saving this much, but ultimately, the price cap's going to go up, so they should tell you they're aving a lot more."

He also added on the Martin Lewis Money Show: "I'd always use a whole of market comparison, as the cost is based on where you live and how much you use."