Posted: Thu 3rd Feb 2022

Ofgem price cap: Energy bills to rise by up to £693 for millions of households from this April

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 3rd, 2022

Households across Flintshire will see their energy bills hiked by almost £700 from this April. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The energy price cap will increase from 1 April for approximately 22 million customers across the UK. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year (difference due to rounding). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The increase is driven by a record rise in global gas prices over the last 6 months, with wholesale prices quadrupling in the last year. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It will affect default tariff customers who haven’t switched to a fixed deal and those who remain with their new supplier after their previous supplier exited the market. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The price cap is updated twice a year and tracks wholesale energy and other costs. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

It stops energy companies from making excessive profits, ensuring customers pay no more than a fair price for their energy. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The price cap allows energy companies to pass on all reasonable costs to customers, including increases in the cost of buying gas. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Since the price cap was last updated in August, the current level does not reflect the unprecedented record rise in gas prices which has since taken place. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Under the price cap mechanism, energy companies will be allowed to pass on these higher costs from April when the new level takes effect. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This is because energy companies cannot afford to supply electricity and gas to their customers for less than they have paid for it. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Over the last year, 29 energy companies have exited the market or been put in special administration in the wake of soaring global gas prices, affecting around 4.3 million domestic customers. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “We know this rise will be extremely worrying for many people, especially those who are struggling to make ends meet, and Ofgem will ensure energy companies support their customers in any way they can. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The energy market has faced a huge challenge due to the unprecedented increase in global gas prices, a once in a 30-year event, and Ofgem’s role as energy regulator is to ensure that, under the price cap, energy companies can only charge a fair price based on the true cost of supplying electricity and gas. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Ofgem is working to stabilise the market and over the longer term to diversify our sources of energy which will help protect customers from similar price shocks in the future.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Ofgem has said it will announce on Friday. “further measures to help the energy market weather future volatility by increasing financial resilience and have the flexibility to respond so that risks are not inappropriately passed on to consumers. This follows measures announced in December.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“The further measures include enabling Ofgem to update the price cap more frequently than once every 6 months in exceptional circumstances to ensure that it still reflects the true cost of supplying energy.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Earlier this week it was announced that the  Winter Fuel Support Scheme payment in Wales will be doubled to £200 as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The £100 one-off payment, which was launched in December, is now being extended to support eligible households with rising energy bills and costs. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Announcing the increased support for households, Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt said: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“Right across Wales, people are seeing their bills rise and wages are being stretched like never before. From energy bills, to prices at the pumps and the costs of everyday essentials. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“We know some people are facing the incredibly difficult decision about whether they heat or eat. We’re in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, which is getting worse. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Local authorities will process new applications from eligible households. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

To be eligible for the payment, one member of the household must be in receipt of certain welfare benefits. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Further details are available on local authority websites, which will be updated to reflect the increased payment. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Councils have contacted people they believe are eligible. If they have not yet made an application, these can be submitted until 28 February. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

People who have already received a £100 payment under the scheme do not need to anything – they will receive a further £100 payment in the coming weeks. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

More to follow: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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