The news just broke that this spring many families’ household energy bills are set to rise by £96 per year. So we thought we would take a quick look at easy ways to make sure you’re getting a good energy deal…
Energy regulator Ofgem announced a sharp increase in bills for up to 15 million households on Friday as it lifted the price cap on energy by an average of £96 a year to £1,138.
The price cap – a limit on both the amount suppliers can bill for each unit of electricity or gas a consumer uses and on daily standing charges – applies to 11 million customers who are on “default tariffs”, meaning either they have never switched suppliers, or that their discount “fixed” deals have expired.
The 4 million people on pre-payment meters -generally the poorest in the UK -would also see a sharp rise in bills, by £87 to £1,156.
The move – which will come into force from April 1 – returns the cap on prices to their levels before the pandemic.
The regulator said it had taken the step because the wholesale cost of energy – which the suppliers pay – had returned to more normal levels after plunging during the Covid emergency. Emma Pinchbeck, the chief executive of Energy UK, a trade body for energy suppliers, said that the price cap is set in a way that is meant to be fair for both customers and suppliers.
The news of the price cap lifting immediately led to claims many households will struggle to make ends meet.
Citizens Advice research in December 2020 indicated that 2.1 million households were behind on their energy bills – up 600,000 from pre-Covid levels.
Where do I go to switch energy provider?
Switching can take time but is often worth it to quit overpriced legacy tariffs.
Try taking a look at comparison app USwitch – it bills itself as making the entire process less stressful by allowing you to manage all your providers and switch between them within the app.
It is also worth heading to moneysavingexpert.com. Martin Lewis’ site allows you to compare energy tariffs. For example, it will allow you to see which provider is offering the cheapest green energy tariff.
The site states that most people on standard tariffs could save around £200 per year by switching. Lewis has said he hopes the price cap – which he refers to as a “rate cap” – lifting will “shock some people into action” over their energy bills. Appearing on ITV last night, Lewis explained that consumers may make even greater savings than websites currently show once the cap is lifted from April.
Price comparison website Comparethemarket.com also offers to quote how much the site’s tech thinks your household should be paying.
Of course, do check out the regulator’s site first for official tips.