The last few years have caused a lot of upheaval to everyday finances, and unfortunately this seems set to continue as we face a new cost of living crisis and rising energy bills. The good news is, if you’re worried about energy bills, support is out there and there are some practical steps you can take.
So, why are costs going up?
In response to increasing wholesale gas prices around the world (driven by increased demand and reduced imports to Europe), regulator Ofgem has revised its energy price cap, and this will be implemented on 1 April 2022.
What we know so far…
Gas and electricity bills are set to soar in April (2022) following Ofgem’s revision of the energy price cap.
This means the average household is set to see their annual energy bills increase by around £693 – to just under £2,000 a year.
The actual difference in costs will depend on how much you currently use and the difference between your existing tariff and the new price cap. The price cap limits the rate a supplier can charge on their default tariff. This is made up of a supplier’s standing charge and the price per unit of electric and gas.
It is important to remember that if you are currently on a fixed tariff you are protected from this increase until your fixed term comes to an end.
When fixed-term deals expire, customers will automatically be moved to a standard variable tariff at the price cap level unless they chose to enter another fixed term arrangement.
You still have the option to shop around if you want to, but other deals are likely to be more expensive. Make sure you check the latest guidance on whether to switch,or stick with your existing tariff.
To help with higher bills in October, the government is automatically applying a rebate of £200, which will need to be paid back at £40 per year over the next five years. The full details of how this will be administered are yet to be confirmed.
The Government has also announced an £150 council tax rebate for homes in bands A-D. If you receive this, you won’t have to repay it. You can check what your council tax band is here.
If you’re worried about rising energy prices
Contact your energy supplier
If you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, then you should first contact your energy supplier to see what options are available to you. For more information on the type of help offered by energy suppliers, and to check energy back-billing rules, click here.
Further advice on how to reduce energy use and costs
- Simple Energy Advice- This is the Government-endorsed website for information on how to reduce energy bills, make energy-efficient home improvements and details on available grants and funding. Click here to go to their website or call 0800 444 202
- You can get advice about an energy issue from the Citizens Advice consumer service. Click here to go to the website or call 0808 223 1144
- Relay UK – if you can’t hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0808 223 113. You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. There’s no extra charge to use it.
- Energy Saving Trust
This is an independent organisation and trusted voice on energy efficiency solutions. Click here to visit their website which has lots of tips for ways to save energy in your home.
Remember we offer free debt advice
Remember, we’re here to help if you want to get on top of debt repayments and clear priority and non-priority arrears.
Our Live Chat team is available Monday – Friday, between 8am – 8pm and between 9am – 3pm on Saturdays. You can also contact us via freephone on 0800 316 1833 between the same times – or fill out our online form in your own time and one of our advisers will be in touch.