Ofgem have announced the energy price cap will increase from April due to rising wholesale costs.
The increase will see the cap return to pre-pandemic levels, with the typical energy customer likely to see their bill go up by £96 to £1,138 a year.
The cap, which came into force in January 2019, was introduced to protect customers from upsurges to standard variable and default energy tariffs. It’s estimated 11 million households will be affected by the increase – about half of all UK households.
Charities have warned the timing is a “double whammy” for customers, coming at a time when the government’s COVID support schemes are due to end.
Alistair Cromwell, acting chief executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“This increase will be a heavy blow to a lot of households. For many people on universal credit it will come at the same time as the £20 a week increase to the benefit is set to end.
With a tough jobs market and essential bills rising, now is not the time for the government to cut this vital lifeline.”
Adam Scorer, of National Energy Action, said:
“People on the lowest incomes and in the worst housing are always hit the hardest.
Heating a poorly insulated home costs around £50 a month more than a decent home. If bills rise by £96, millions of households have two stark choices; stay cold or fall further into debt.”