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Gas prices: Why are they so high and what is the energy price cap? Energy price cap: Why are fuel bills rising?
(2 days later)
Householders face a rise in energy bills, as well as the possibility their supplier could go bust. Fuel bills for millions of households are rising.
This is due to a massive rise in the price energy suppliers pay for gas. It's because suppliers have been allowed to put up prices for the deals many customers are on.
What is the energy price cap?
The energy price cap sets the maximum price suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge customers on a standard - or default - tariff.
The cap was increased on 1 October, with about 15 million households facing a 12% rise in energy bills.
Those on standard tariffs, with typical household levels of energy use, could see an increase of £139 - from £1,138 to £1,277 a year
Households with larger than average energy use will pay more than £1,277 a year
People with pre-payment meters could see an increase of £153 - from £1,156 to £1,309
Households on fixed tariffs will be unaffected, but those coming to the end of a contract will automatically be moved to a default tariff set at the new level
It's likely the energy cap will rise again in April, as energy firms are paying high prices for gas.
In Northern Ireland, there is a separate energy market with two suppliers.
Prices also rise this month - by 21.8% (SSE) and 35% (Firmus).
Why are gas prices so high?Why are gas prices so high?
There's been a worldwide squeeze on gas and energy supplies.There's been a worldwide squeeze on gas and energy supplies.
A cold winter in Europe last year put pressure on supplies and, as a result, stored gas levels are much lower than normalA cold winter in Europe last year put pressure on supplies and, as a result, stored gas levels are much lower than normal
There's been increased demand from Asia (which also suffered a cold winter) for liquefied natural gas.There's been increased demand from Asia (which also suffered a cold winter) for liquefied natural gas.
This has helped push up gas prices in the UK, Europe and Asia. Since January, they've risen 250%. Prices have soared 70% from August alone.This has helped push up gas prices in the UK, Europe and Asia. Since January, they've risen 250%. Prices have soared 70% from August alone.
In the UK, most big domestic suppliers buy gas months in advance - so they have yet to pass on the price rises of the past few months.
Many customers are also on fixed tariffs so, until the tariffs run out, bills won't go up.
Is the UK headed for a gas shortage this winter?Is the UK headed for a gas shortage this winter?
Which energy suppliers have gone bust so far?Which energy suppliers have gone bust so far?
Since wholesale gas prices started to spike, a number of firms have collapsed due to financial pressure. Since wholesale gas prices started to spike, a number of firms have collapsed.
They have been unable to pay higher wholesale prices or get customers on fixed tariffs to share the burden by increasing bills. They have been unable to pay higher prices for gas supplies, or pass all of the increased costs on to customers.
Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy are the latest energy suppliers to stop trading. Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy were the latest energy suppliers to stop trading.
Hub, Money Plus, Utility Point, People's Energy, PFP, Green and Avro have also been forced out of business.Hub, Money Plus, Utility Point, People's Energy, PFP, Green and Avro have also been forced out of business.
What can I do if my energy supplier goes bust?What can I do if my energy supplier goes bust?
Energy bills may rise as firms fail, warns regulator Gas prices: 'I'm just watching the meter go up'
Food firms face huge price rise for carbon dioxideFood firms face huge price rise for carbon dioxide
Around 1.7 million customers have been affected. About 1.7 million customers have been affected.
At the beginning of 2021 there were 70 UK energy suppliers. Now, there are just over 30. At the beginning of 2021 there were 70 UK energy suppliers.
Industry sources have said there may be as few as 10 left by the end of the year.Industry sources have said there may be as few as 10 left by the end of the year.
Gas prices: 'I'm just watching the meter go up'
What is the energy price cap and how is it going up?
The energy price cap is a backstop introduced in January 2019 and set by the regulator Ofgem under government policy.
It sets the maximum price suppliers in England, Wales and Scotland can charge customers on a standard - or default - tariff.
A higher cap is due to come into force from 1 October, with about 15 million households facing a 12% rise in energy bills.
Those on standard tariffs, with typical household levels of energy use, could see an increase of £139 - from £1,138 to £1,277 a year
Households with larger than average energy use will pay more than £1,277 a year
People with pre-payment meters could see an increase of £153 - from £1,156 to £1,309
Households on fixed tariffs will be unaffected, but those coming to the end of a contract probably won't be able to find a cheap deal to replace it
Because energy firms are now scarcely making a profit on gas, it's likely the energy "cap" will rise again in April.
In Northern Ireland, there is a separate energy market with two suppliers.
Prices will also rise next month by 21.8% (SSE) and 35% (Firmus).
Why is the UK affected particularly badly?Why is the UK affected particularly badly?
Gas prices are rising all across Europe, but there are extra reasons why the UK is hard hit:Gas prices are rising all across Europe, but there are extra reasons why the UK is hard hit:
The UK is one of Europe's biggest users of natural gas - 85% of homes use gas central heating, and it also generates a third of the country's electricityThe UK is one of Europe's biggest users of natural gas - 85% of homes use gas central heating, and it also generates a third of the country's electricity
Supplies of renewable energy are down because it's been the least windy summer since 1961 - over the last week, wind provided just 9% of power for England, Wales and ScotlandSupplies of renewable energy are down because it's been the least windy summer since 1961 - over the last week, wind provided just 9% of power for England, Wales and Scotland
A recent fire at a National Grid site in Kent closed a power cable supplying electricity from France.A recent fire at a National Grid site in Kent closed a power cable supplying electricity from France.
How have you been affected by issues raised in this article? You can share your experience by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.How have you been affected by issues raised in this article? You can share your experience by emailing haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:
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