The areas of the UK that will have the cheapest energy bills next month

Yahoo News explains why energy rates vary by region and which areas can expect to pay the most and least

People have been urged to budget for changes in their energy bills as the government reduces its support. (Getty Images)
People have been urged to budget for changes in their energy bills as the government reduces its support. (Getty Images)

Energy bills are set to change from next month, as the government reduces its support for people faced with soaring gas and electricity costs.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed in his budget last week that the energy price guarantee (EPG) would be extended for another three months until the end of June.

This cap on what the average household is charged for energy was due to increase on April 1 from £2,500 to £3,000, but will now remain where it is.

The government says this will save a typical household around £160 – however, many people across the country will still see their bills go up.

Read more: Cost of living: Britain's oldest brewer warns its pub prices are going to go up

Households are being reminded to budget for an increase in their monthly payments as the £400 energy rebate – paid over six months from October to March – comes to an end.

The amount people will have to pay may depend on where they live, as the EPG is based on regional rates, as shown by MoneySavingExpert.

Here, Yahoo News shows how much more people can expect to pay in the coming months depending on their area, with the East Midlands and Northern regions looking to pay the least.

This chart explains how people on prepayment meters, often lower income customers in social housing, are being affected by region.

People in North Wales and Mersey will be hit the hardest in terms of electricity bills, with a unit price rate (pence per Kwh) of 33.58, while the Northern region will pay the least at 30.79.

South Western is looking at the highest gas bills, with a rate of 10.8 per unit, compared to the East Midlands at 10.42.

Read more: The important news you missed while Boris Johnson was being questioned

It is a similar story for households paying for their gas and electricity via direct debit, as this chart shows.

Again, North Wales and Mersey is the highest for electricity with a unit rate of 34.76, while the lowest is Northern at 31.92.

For gas, South Western is once again the most expensive region at 10.52, while the cheapest is the East Midlands at 10.18.

Read more: Exclusive: Less than half of Britons back Harry being invited to King's coronation

People will rightly be concerned about whether their monthly bills are going to go up or down when changes come into effect from April.

This is also expected to vary between regions, with direct debit customers in North Wales and Mersey looking at a decrease of 1.69p per Kwh – although it will still remain the most expensive region overall.

Meanwhile, London is looking at a reduction of 0.19p per Kwh for gas. Only Northern will have a slight increase for electricity, with a rise of 0.05p, while gas is set to go up by 0.09p in the South Western region.

Read more: Jamaica moving ahead with plans to dump 'foreign monarch' King Charles

As for prepayment customers – often the most vulnerable – the North West is looking at a 0.27p increase in its rate for electricity – the only region facing any sort of rise.

In contrast, North Wales and Mersey is looking at a reduction of 1.81p for its electricity, while Londoners will see their rate for gas drop by 0.42p.

Why do energy prices vary between regions?

High voltage power lines connecting with large electricity substation
You can shop around for new providers, but some things are unfortunately out of your control. (Getty Images)

There are a few reasons why energy costs vary between different parts of the country, which is sometimes looked at as a postcode lottery.

Factors such as how much an energy company sells for in your area and how much it buys from generators in your region all make a difference, according to USwitch.

Different charges imposed on energy suppliers by local distribution networks across the country will also affect regional energy rates.

Read more: Polio vaccine: When will children be offered the jab?

These networks, which operate gas and electricity supplies in particular regions, are essentially monopolies, says U Switch, meaning they have no incentive to lower their prices to compete for customers.

This means that while you can always shop around for better deals via an energy comparison, there are some things that are unfortunately out of your control.