How much will your bill rise next month?
THIS week it was revealed that the energy price cap will fall — yet bills are still set to rise. Here’s what you need to know...
WHY ARE BILLS GOING UP?
THE energy price cap, currently £4,279 a year, will fall to £3,280 from April 1, Ofgem announced this week. This reflects a drop in global wholesale energy costs.
The cap relates to the maximum price energy suppliers can charge households for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy they use.
At the moment, however, the price cap is largely symbolic as the Government has capped annual bills for the average household at £2,500 a year, under the Energy Price Guarantee.
But from April 1, this support will become less generous, when the price guarantee rises to £3,000.
BY HOW MUCH WILL THEY RISE?
HOUSEHOLDS will typically pay an extra £900 a year from April, according to Citizens Advice.
The £500 increase to the price guarantee will be coupled with the end of the energy support scheme, which provided an automatic £400 discount in six instalments of £66 and £67 a month. This scaling back in support means millions of families are facing a further hit to their finances. Dame Clare Moriarty, of Citizens Advice, estimates that around 3 million people will spend more than 10 pc of their income on energy.
WHAT SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE?
THE energy bills support scheme will only be available to means-tested vulnerable and low-income households from April.
Low-income households on means-tested benefits, such as universal credit, child tax credits or jobseeker’s allowance will receive £900 in three instalments.
Pensioners will be paid £300 in one instalment next winter, while those on certain disability benefits will receive £150.
Almost one million homes that fell through the cracks of existing relief can now apply for £400 under the energy bills support scheme alternative funding. This includes people in care homes and in park homes.
There are also various government schemes in place for households struggling to pay their energy bills, including the warm home discount, the household support fund and the cold weather payment.
If you are finding it difficult to pay your bills, get in touch with your supplier. It should offer you an affordable payment plan.