Energy bills are rocketing... Here’s how to keep costs under control this winter

·2-min read
 ( Unsplash)
( Unsplash)

The UK’s cheapest consumer energy tariffs have risen by 20% in the past two months alone, according to the latest data.

The steep rise is a stark sign of the effect soaring prices in the wholesale energy market is having on domestic household bills.

In recent months, gas prices have risen thanks to growing demand coupled with a loosening of pandemic restrictions. High carbon prices, low gas storage stocks and maintenance work affecting North Sea supplies have also added to the upwards pressure.

Figures from energy analysts Comparison Tech show that, back in July, the average price of the top 10 cheapest fixed and variable energy tariffs was around £920.

By August, the figure had risen sharply to £1,070. For September, the average price for both fixed and variable tariffs had increased again. It currently stands at about £1,100, a 19.5% rise in just two months. You can see the cheapest available deals here.

Whichever tariff you’re on as an energy customer, these figures are a timely reminder to check your household gas and electricity bills regularly. As autumn turns into winter, households inevitably use more energy. By keeping on the central heating for longer, for example.

Ditch pricey contracts to save money

Where necessary, ditch relatively expensive contracts and potentially save yourself hundreds of pounds a year as a result. You can find out more about energy tariffs here.

On 1 October, the energy market regulator Ofgem is raising its cap on standard variable rate default tariffs by £139 to £1,277. The £12% increase means the cap, which applies to 11 million UK households, will now stand at its highest-ever level - anyone on a default tariff may be able to save by switching.

The same day, Ofgem will also increase its cap on prepayment tariffs, by £153 to £1,309. The move will affect a further four million households. It is also possible to shop around and switch to a cheaper prepayment deal.

If you’re on a fixed-term, fixed-rate energy tariff that ends this month, you need to act swiftly to find another competitive deal. Do nothing and your supplier will most likely move you onto its relatively expensive ‘default’ tariff which means you’ll start paying more for your energy.

If you’re one of the UK’s millions of customers already on your energy supplier’s standard variable rate tariff (SVT), Ofgem advises you to switch and fix to a lower price for your power. Find out more about why it makes sense to switch energy suppliers.

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