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Changes to energy prices

You've probably noticed your energy bills going up. But it's important to know why this is happening and what you can do to stay on top of increasing costs. 

Why are energy prices going up?

Increased global demand and wider geopolitical factors have seen the prices of gas increase. This has led some energy suppliers to go bust. 

As a result, Ofgem, the energy regulator, has increased the energy price cap from 1 April 2022. This means customers have a certain level of protection against the rising energy prices, as energy suppliers will only be able to charge default tariff customers so much per unit (kWh) of energy.

However, bills will go up substantially for lots of households. On average, default tariff bills are expected to increase by £693 for the year. For those using a prepayment meter, the average increase will be around £708.

There are fewer tariffs on offer than usual, and switching might not save you any money. It's important to seek impartial advice before switching, for example from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service

What do I do if my energy supplier goes bust?

When an energy supplier goes bust, Ofgem assigns a new supplier to take over your account. You don't need to worry, your gas and electricity supply will continue regardless of what happens to your supplier.

Your new supplier should provide you with information about what is happening with your account. But this process can take a few weeks. 

It's worth keeping hold of or downloading copies of your latest energy bills and take photos of your latest meter readings for reference. 

Any customers that were in debt with their previous supplier will still have to repay this and any customers who had been in credit with their supplier should receive a refund. 

You can find more information about which energy suppliers have been affected and who's taking over those accounts.

You should seek advice if you're looking to switch because your supplier has gone bust, as there are considerations if your account was in credit, or if you usually receive the Warm Home Discount. 

Can I get help paying my energy bills?

If you're finding it hard to keep up with energy payments or you're worried you won't be able to afford the energy you need this winter, you might be entitled to financial support.

Warm Home Discount

If you receive Pension Credit, you could be entitled to £140 off your energy bills each year. If you were eligible last year, you should automatically receive a letter between October and December. 

We have more information about the Warm Home Discount scheme.

Winter Fuel Payment

You could be entitled to an annual one-off payment of £100-£300 depending on how old you are, who you live with and any benefits you receive. 

If you're over State Pension age - which is currently 66 years old - and receive the State Pension then you should be paid automatically. Payments are usually made between November and December.

We have more information about Winter Fuel Payments.

Not sure what you're entitled to?

Our handy benefits calculator can help you work out if you're missing out on money you should be getting. It only takes a few minutes to find out.

Can I get support from my energy supplier?

If you're finding it difficult to keep up with energy bills or you owe money to your energy supplier, your supplier has a duty to help.

You can ask your energy supplier for:

  • a review of your payments or debt repayments
  • payment breaks or reductions
  • more time to pay your bills
  • access to hardship funds
  • Priority Service registration.

You may be able to register for Priority Services depending on your circumstances, this includes if you're over State Pension age or you're living with a disability. This gives you access to a range of support, including priority assistance in an emergency, advance notice of planned power cuts and help with prepayment meter access. 

Some energy suppliers have their own special funding schemes or provide support through national schemes such as the Energy Company Obligation. These provide a range of financial support, debt relief, energy advice, and the installation of energy efficiency improvements which can help lower your bills.

Check with your supplier to see what support you might be entitled to.

What other financial support is available?

The Government has announced measures to help with rising energy costs.

Money off energy bills

All electricity customers will get £200 off their energy bills from October 2022. This is technically a loan and will be recovered in £40 instalments over a 5-year period, starting from 2023.

Council Tax rebate

Depending on the Council Tax band of property, you may be entitled to a non-repayable £150 from your council. Payments will be made from April and you'll need to make a claim unless you pay your bill via direct debit, in which case you'll be paid automatically. Find out more about the Council Tax rebate. 

Need some more information?

If you need some more information about how you can save money on your bills we've got you covered. 

Save energy, pay less information guide

Winter wrapped up information guide 

Help with heating costs factsheet

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Last updated: May 04 2022

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