The energy price cap is set by the energy regulator Ofgem and while it currently stands at £3,549, the average household energy bill will be capped at £2,500 until April 2023 thanks to the Energy Price Guarantee. The latest data from market intelligence specialists Cornwall Insight suggests that the energy price cap could rise to £3,702 in April 2023, when the Energy Price Guarantee is due to end. It is important to remember that the figure is based on the annual usage of the average UK household, meaning the amount you actually pay may be more or less depending on the amount of energy you use.
The predicted rise to £3,702 represents an increase of 48% when compared to the Energy Price Guarantee. Some had hoped for better news having seen wholesale gas prices fall in recent months, however, the falls are unlikely to filter through in time to make any significant impact on energy bills by April 2023. While it is a tough pill to swallow for UK households who are already feeling the effects of the cost of living crisis, the 48% rise is actually less than originally predicted. The energy price cap had previously been predicted to hit £4,348 in April 2023, representing a rise of over 73%.
Early predictions for Q3 in 2023 suggest that the energy price cap could reduce by around £550 to £3,157 in July 2023 before increasing slightly to £3,182 in September 2023.
What if you can't afford to pay your energy bill?
If you find yourself struggling to pay your energy bills there are a number of things you can do, which we summarise below:
- Contact your energy supplier - Notifying your energy supplier that you are struggling to pay your energy bills means that they are obliged to help you come to a solution e.g. an affordable way for you to repay them.
- Check for grants and schemes - Contact your energy supplier and ask if you are eligible for any of their grants or schemes on offer.
- Pay your bills via your benefits - If you receive certain benefits, such as Universal Credit or Income Support, you may be able to come to an agreement with your supplier for your debts to be repaid directly from your benefits.
Check out the full article 'What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills' for more information.
Help if you're struggling to pay your energy bill
You may be able to clear your debt with your energy supplier via the Fuel Direct Scheme if you receive benefits. Alternatively, you may be able to get help with grants and schemes offered by your energy supplier or with the British Gas Energy Trust which offers support for energy customers of all energy companies. For more information on the schemes available visit the Citizen's Advice website.
Finally, there are a number of charities and organisations that can provide free financial advice. We've provided links to a selection of the best websites below:
- MoneyHelper (previously the Money Advice Service)
- The money charity
- National Debtline
- Citizens Advice