Energy bills to rise to £4,200 this winter as wholesale prices surge AGAIN, experts warn


HOUSEHOLDS have been warned annual energy bills could rise to £4,200 as prices surge again.

Gas and electricity bills could reach hundreds of pounds more than previous predictions, according to experts.

Previously, bills were estimated to rise to £3,358 from October and £3,616 from January.

In May, the Government announced an energy costs support package – worth £400 per household – in response to predictions that bills would rise to £2,800 for the average household in October.

But experts at Cornwall Insight have said that bills are now likely to rise to £4,200 from January as wholesale prices surge again.

Forecasts for the October price cap have also seen a rise, going up by more than £200 to £3,582.

Experts blamed the new increase on rises in the wholesale price of energy and changes that regulator Ofgem has made to how it calculates the price cap.

The new estimates follow a massive billing shake-up announced by Ofgem this week, which will see bills rise more frequently.

Ofgem reviews the energy price cap – which limits how much suppliers can charge customers – every six months.

But last week it announced it will now be reviewed twice as often, meaning bills are likely to soar not just two times, but four times, a year now.

Families are set to find out how much prices will go up by on August 26, with the change coming into force from October 1.

The exact change to the price cap is yet to be decided by the regulator.

It comes after energy consultancy Auxilione predicted bills could rise by as much as £4,400.

Dr Craig Lowrey, principal consultant at Cornwall Insight said: “Rather than critiquing the methodology of the cap, it may be time to consider the cap’s place altogether.

“After all, if it is not controlling consumer prices, and is damaging suppliers’ business models, we must wonder if it is fit for purpose – especially in these times of unprecedented energy market conditions.”

The cap limits the per unit price of energy suppliers can charge, and means the typical dual fuel bill is currently £1,971 – though you can pay more or less depending on usage.

Martin Lewis has urged the government to take action over fears the price rise could leave people “destitute”.

How to get help with your energy bills

Unfortunately, there isn’t an awful lot you can do to escape rising energy prices.

With the cost of living sky-rocketing and inflation expected to hit 13% by the end of the year, we’ve all had our purse strings pulled tight, and everyone will be affected.

However, there are always schemes and funds available to support you throughout the price hikes.

For example, there are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling, like the British Gas hardship fund which can lend you up to £1,500 free cash towards bills.

There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.

Contact your supplier directly to see what they offer, what the eligibility requirements are, and how much you can get.

If you don’t know who your supplier is, you can find out here.

In terms of council funds, the Household Support Fund helps families with the rising cost of living, has been extended.

This help could include cash grants to pay bills or cover food costs – the help will depend on where you live.

For example, residents in Blackpool can get as much as £300, depending on their circumstances.

To find out what support is available in your area, contact your local council.

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