We know there's a lot going on in the energy market right now, with bills rising, suppliers exiting the market, and lots of jargon being used which can make things confusing. But Uswitch can help you make sense of it all - find out here about energy price rises, what the price cap means, handy ways to be as energy-efficient as possible, updates on other energy news, and explainer guides to help you make sense of your specific situation.
24 May 2022, 13.31: Ofgem has today admitted that the energy price cap is on course to rise by more than £800 to about £2,800 per year when it is reset in October.
The final figure is still to be determined - it won't be calculated and announced until the beginning of August - and could ultimately end up being higher or lower.
While suppliers and industry figures have been predicting significant energy price increases in October, this is the first time the regulator has provided its own estimate of what the increase could be. Its CEO, Jonathan Brearley, told the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee that a spike in electricity costs and an increase the cost of wholesale gas, which has become as much as 10 times more expensive than normal recently, were to blame for the high estimate.
The much-discussed energy price rise came into effect for UK households on standard variable tariffs on 1 April. This followed Ofgem's February announcement that the energy price cap level would be increased to £1,971 (an average of 54%) for average use dual fuel energy customers. This is its highest ever level and is a direct result of the ongoing energy market volatility that began in the autumn of 2021.
This price rise will naturally have you concerned about the impact on your bills, which have already risen significantly in the last few months, but Uswitch is here to advise and support you through this difficult period.
Government support: The government announced a package of relief measures on 3 February, including an electricity bill rebate of £200 and a Council Tax rebate of £150 for those in bands A-D in England. The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should receive around £565 million of Barnett funding as a result of the Council Tax rebate. The government is also committing to widening the net of eligibility for the Warm Home Discount and providing discretionary funds for the most vulnerable customers.
Find out more about the price cap and the actions you can take to manage your bills here:
See what energy support schemes or grants you - or any vulnerable friends or relatives - may qualify for, from either the Government or energy suppliers. Stay up to date with what’s happening in the energy market so that you will be ready to switch when the time is right. The Uswitch Quick Checker provides personalised information about your energy plan and a recommendation of what you should do.
It’s more important than ever to be energy efficient.
There are simple and affordable ways to prevent heat loss, such as draught-proofing doors and window frames, bleeding radiators and keeping thermostats at a steady temperature. Check out our other energy saving tips here.
While there are currently no savings when it comes to your energy bill, you may be able to cut costs on your other household bills. Reviewing broadband, TV and mobile contracts with Uswitch could be a quick and easy way to make a reduction on your monthly outgoings - you could save an average of £162 per year on your broadband alone.
“This admission from Ofgem confirms the worst fears of everyone who is currently struggling to pay their energy bill. Although we have long expected the price cap will rise again in October, this is the first time the regulator has estimated how high it could soar.
“The final figure is still uncertain as we have a few months left before the announcement, so it could go further up or down, depending on the market volatility.
“This revelation by Ofgem will be especially worrying for those on the lowest incomes who are already struggling, and the need for more support could not be more urgent.
“Nearly a quarter of consumers are already in debt to their supplier and are facing financial pressures from all sides. Now is the time for the government to act and put together a comprehensive package of help for the most vulnerable before it is too late."
Our easy to use tool shows you which government and supplier-specific energy help schemes you might be able to sign up for depending on your eligibility.
We know and appreciate that this is a difficult time for customers, and we want to do everything possible to make sure you have the right information at this time so you can make the right decisions.
We also regularly attend community engagement events so we can address your questions and concerns in person. See below for a list of our upcoming events:
16 May 2022 - Student wellbeing event: Richmond Building, University of Bradford, Bradford, BD7 1DS (12pm – 4pm)
20 May 2022 - Talk: Dragon Hall Trust, Phoenix Garden, 21 Stacey St, London, WC2H 8DG (11am - 1pm)
11 June 2022 - Information stall: Guildford Borough Council - The Hive, Park Barn Drive, Guildford, GU2 8EN (9am - 3:30pm)
28 July 2022 - Information stall: Housing Solutions Maidenhead - St. Luke's Community Hall, Norfolk Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7AT (11am - 2pm)