Why are energy prices rising?
It is, unfortunately, the case that energy prices have been rising worldwide for a variety of reasons. A string of cold winters in Europe over the last two years has put pressure on supplies, reducing the amount of gas stored. There has also been increased demand from around the world as economies reopen following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, putting pressure on natural gas supplies. These have combined to push up gas prices and have led Ofgem to announce a considerable increase in the energy price cap of about £700 a year from April 1.
We are currently living in unprecedented times, and the recent increase in gas and electricity prices do unfortunately reflect that.
Will the UK have enough gas?
Yes - although global wholesale gas prices are currently high the government are confident that the UK’s energy supply is secure now and over winter.
What happens if my supplier goes bust?
If your supplier stops operating, you will still receive gas and electricity. Ofgem – the independent energy regulator - will automatically switch you onto a new supplier to assure there will be no interruption to your supply of energy. There is a well-organized system in place to protect households and ensure your gas and electricity keeps running.
Will my bills go up if that happens?
All customers will still be protected by the energy price cap. This limits suppliers on how much they can charge for standard variable rates.
The energy price cap went up on 1st October – will it go up again soon?
The Energy Price Cap is reviewed twice a year based on the latest estimated costs of supplying energy, and the next time the price cap is due to be updated is April 2022 which means customers who it protects should not worry about it increasing before then.
What should I do if my supplier goes bust?
You will be moved to a new supplier, but this may take a couple of weeks. Citizens Advice have lots of information about what to do – including taking meter readings and how to get back any money you are owed. This information can be found here
What if I can’t afford my energy bills?
If you are worried about paying your energy bills then please contact your supplier as soon as possible. They have to work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.
You can ask for:
- Review of your payments and debt repayments
- Potential payment breaks or reductions
- Extensions on payments
- Access to hardship funds
- Priority Service registration – a free support service if you are in a vulnerable situation.