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Why are gas bills so high and what's the energy price cap? Why are gas bills so high and what's the energy price cap?
(about 7 hours later)
Electricity and gas bills for a typical household will go up by £693 a year in April, a 54% increase.Electricity and gas bills for a typical household will go up by £693 a year in April, a 54% increase.
The government says financial support will help cover some of the rise. The government says financial support - partly based on council tax bands - will help cover some of the rise.
How much will my energy bill go up?How much will my energy bill go up?
Around 18 million households on standard tariffs will see an average increase of £693 - from £1,277 to £1,971 per year.Around 18 million households on standard tariffs will see an average increase of £693 - from £1,277 to £1,971 per year.
Around 4.5 million prepayment customers will see an average increase of £708 - from £1,309 to £2,017.Around 4.5 million prepayment customers will see an average increase of £708 - from £1,309 to £2,017.
The amount your bill will go up depends on how much energy you use.The amount your bill will go up depends on how much energy you use.
Energy bills won't rise immediately for customers on fixed rates, but many are likely to see a significant increase when their deal ends.Energy bills won't rise immediately for customers on fixed rates, but many are likely to see a significant increase when their deal ends.
Ofgem: Check if the energy price cap affects youOfgem: Check if the energy price cap affects you
What is the energy price cap? What is the council tax rebate and what band am I in?
Bills are going up because the energy price cap - the maximum price suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge households - is being raised. The government says it will offer extra help worth a total of £350.
Energy firms can increase bills by 54% when the new cap is introduced in April. In April people in council tax bands A to D in England will receive a one-off £150 discount.
Prices are expected to rise again in October. Council tax bands are worked out differently across the UK, but about 80% of homes are in bands A to D. Typically, the more expensive the property the higher the band. You can check what band you are in on the government website.
What help can people get? In October customers in England, Scotland and Wales will receive a £200 rebate on their energy bills. They will have to repay this at £40 a year for five years, starting in April 2023
The government says it will offer extra help worth a total of £350 - just over half the increase facing a typical household: Other help is also being made available.
April: People in council tax bands A to D in England will receive a one-off £150 discount. This will apply to about 80% of homes
October: Customers in England, Scotland and Wales will receive a £200 rebate on their energy bills. They will have to repay this at £40 a year for five years, starting in April 2023
In England local authorities will also have access to a £150m fund to help lower income households living in higher council tax properties. It will also help households in bands A to D who already don't pay council tax.In England local authorities will also have access to a £150m fund to help lower income households living in higher council tax properties. It will also help households in bands A to D who already don't pay council tax.
GOV.UK: Check your council tax band
The warm house discount scheme will be expanded, to cover three million households. It offers low income households a one-off annual discount on their electricity bill, and was worth £140 in 2021/22.The warm house discount scheme will be expanded, to cover three million households. It offers low income households a one-off annual discount on their electricity bill, and was worth £140 in 2021/22.
Because the council tax measures only apply in England, £565m will be given to other UK nations to fund equivalent help.Because the council tax measures only apply in England, £565m will be given to other UK nations to fund equivalent help.
The Northern Ireland energy market is separate, but the government said £150m would be available to support households there.The Northern Ireland energy market is separate, but the government said £150m would be available to support households there.
The government ruled out scrapping the 5% VAT rate on household heating bills, as it said this would disproportionately help wealthier households.
Ofgem: Help with your energy billsOfgem: Help with your energy bills
What is the energy price cap?
Bills are going up because the energy price cap - the maximum price suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge households - is being raised.
Energy firms can increase bills by 54% when the new cap is introduced in April.
Prices are expected to rise again in October.
How do energy prices affect the cost of living?How do energy prices affect the cost of living?
More households are expected to find themselves facing fuel poverty - meaning they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on energy.More households are expected to find themselves facing fuel poverty - meaning they spend a disproportionate amount of their income on energy.
The way fuel poverty is measured varies around the UK.The way fuel poverty is measured varies around the UK.
In Scotland, a household is in fuel poverty if more than 10% of its income is spent on fuel and its remaining income isn't enough to maintain an adequate standard of living.In Scotland, a household is in fuel poverty if more than 10% of its income is spent on fuel and its remaining income isn't enough to maintain an adequate standard of living.
Based on this measure, the Resolution Foundation think tank expects the number of homes facing "fuel stress" across the UK to treble to 6.3 million after April. It says pensioners and people in local authority housing will be hit hardest.Based on this measure, the Resolution Foundation think tank expects the number of homes facing "fuel stress" across the UK to treble to 6.3 million after April. It says pensioners and people in local authority housing will be hit hardest.
It warns UK households are facing a "cost of living catastrophe".It warns UK households are facing a "cost of living catastrophe".
Food prices are also rising, and an increase in National Insurance in April will leave millions facing higher tax bills.Food prices are also rising, and an increase in National Insurance in April will leave millions facing higher tax bills.
The Bank of England has put up interest rates for the second time in three months to try and slow price rises.The Bank of England has put up interest rates for the second time in three months to try and slow price rises.
Why are prices rising so quickly?Why are prices rising so quickly?
Four things that are going up in price and whyFour things that are going up in price and why
What are interest rates and why do they matter?What are interest rates and why do they matter?
Why have gas prices gone up?Why have gas prices gone up?
A worldwide squeeze on energy supplies has pushed the price of gas prices up to unprecedented levels:A worldwide squeeze on energy supplies has pushed the price of gas prices up to unprecedented levels:
a cold winter in Europe in 2020/21 put pressure on supplies and reduced the the amount of gas storeda cold winter in Europe in 2020/21 put pressure on supplies and reduced the the amount of gas stored
a relatively windless summer in 2021 made it difficult to generate wind energya relatively windless summer in 2021 made it difficult to generate wind energy
increased demand from Asia - especially China - put pressure on liquefied natural gas suppliesincreased demand from Asia - especially China - put pressure on liquefied natural gas supplies
The UK is relatively hard-hit because about 85% of homes have gas central heating, and gas generates a third of the country's electricity.The UK is relatively hard-hit because about 85% of homes have gas central heating, and gas generates a third of the country's electricity.
Why have energy firms collapsed?Why have energy firms collapsed?
When wholesale gas prices spiked, many energy suppliers collapsed - affecting millions of households.When wholesale gas prices spiked, many energy suppliers collapsed - affecting millions of households.
This is largely because the energy price cap prevented them passing on all of their increased costs to customers.This is largely because the energy price cap prevented them passing on all of their increased costs to customers.
When their supplier went bust many households were switched to a more expensive deal with another supplier.When their supplier went bust many households were switched to a more expensive deal with another supplier.
What can I do if my energy supplier goes bust?What can I do if my energy supplier goes bust?
How can I protect myself from rising prices?How can I protect myself from rising prices?
In the past, consumers have been encouraged to shop around when bills rise.In the past, consumers have been encouraged to shop around when bills rise.
But at the moment better offers - especially fixed deals - are not available.But at the moment better offers - especially fixed deals - are not available.
People already on fixed deals are advised to stay put.People already on fixed deals are advised to stay put.
Other households are being encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.Other households are being encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The Energy Saving Trust says simple changes to our homes and habits could offset the current price rises.The Energy Saving Trust says simple changes to our homes and habits could offset the current price rises.