If you don’t compare energy prices each year and automatically roll over onto your supplier’s standard rate tariff, you could find yourself paying over the odds for power when you could get it a lot cheaper somewhere else.

New research from comparethemarket.com has found that about 188,000 households around the UK will automatically switch over onto more expensive rates in the first three months of the year, the average hike in energy bills is expected to be £192 per household, so you could find yourself really out of pocket as a result.

Head of energy with the price comparison site Peter Earl said: “The message from these statistics is clear – ignore your energy correspondence at your peril. When fixed tariffs are coming to an end it is essential to engage with your supplier, shop around and switch onto the best deal to avoid being rolled onto these expensive default tariffs.

“People mustn’t allow themselves to fall victim to doing nothing, as they’ll play into the hands of energy companies and pay the price in the form of higher energy costs.”

Before switching, make sure you check to see if there’s a fee for cancelling your current deal. Exit fees can be included with fixed rate tariffs if switching early, so it might be worth waiting until your deal is about to end before making the move to another supplier. The process of switching isn’t difficult or time-consuming, but you will need a recent bill to complete the procedure.

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