Energy bills to rise by up to £96 for millions as Ofgem price cap increases

Energy price cap: OFGEM chief outlines rise in rate for customers

The regulator announced that from April 1st the price cap will increase by £96 to £1,138 for 11 million customers on a standard dual-fuel energy tariff, and by £87 to £1,156 for 4 million prepayment meter customers. Ofgem blamed the increase on a sudden rise in prices on the wholesale energy markets. 

Energy costs fell sharply last year in the wake of the first lockdown, dragging the price cap down to £84 in October, the lowest level recorded during the winter period.

Demand for energy has since risen to pre-pandemic levels, pushing up wholesale prices.

The regulator also added an extra charge to help companies recover cash from households that were unable to keep up with their bills during the crisis.

Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, said:

“Energy bill increases are never welcome, especially as many households are struggling with the impact of the pandemic.

“We have carefully scrutinised these changes to ensure that customers only pay a fair price for their energy.

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“The price cap offers a safety net against poor pricing practices, saving customers up to £100 a year, but it they want to avoid the increase in April they should shop around for a cheaper deal.”

Peter Early head of energy at the price comparison site, is not impressed with Ofgem’s move.

He has urged households to check their tariffs, saying that they could potentially save hundred of pounds by switching supplier.

He said: “Raising energy costs for millions of households by an average of £96 is an extraordinary move in the current climate. 

“It calls into question the whole point of a price cap which was signed to protect the most vulnerable households.”

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