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Energy price cap: Why are fuel bills rising and can I get a fixed deal? Energy price cap: Why are fuel bills rising and can I get a fixed deal?
(1 day later)
Fuel bills for millions of households are rising now and could go up by hundreds of pounds next year, experts have warned. Fuel bills for millions of households are going up and energy regulator Ofgem says there will be further "significant rises" next year.
Why are prices increasing and what can you do to save money?Why are prices increasing and what can you do to save money?
Can I get a fixed deal or cheaper tariff now?Can I get a fixed deal or cheaper tariff now?
Usually, consumers are encouraged to shop when energy bills rise.Usually, consumers are encouraged to shop when energy bills rise.
But at the moment better offers - including fixed deals - are simply not available.But at the moment better offers - including fixed deals - are simply not available.
Price comparison sites are offering fewer energy deals, and some - such as Compare The Market - are offering none at all.Price comparison sites are offering fewer energy deals, and some - such as Compare The Market - are offering none at all.
Look After My Bills has paused its operations, and Flipper has closed down.Look After My Bills has paused its operations, and Flipper has closed down.
People already on fixed deals are advised to stay put.People already on fixed deals are advised to stay put.
Those coming to the end of fixed deals will be moved on to higher standard tariffs.Those coming to the end of fixed deals will be moved on to higher standard tariffs.
A tariff set at the price cap limit - the maximum price suppliers can charge customers on a standard deal - will be the most competitive.A tariff set at the price cap limit - the maximum price suppliers can charge customers on a standard deal - will be the most competitive.
Firms warn of price rises as energy bills soarFirms warn of price rises as energy bills soar
Gas prices: 'I'm just watching the meter go up'Gas prices: 'I'm just watching the meter go up'
How can I save money on my bills?How can I save money on my bills?
Instead of searching for a cheaper deal, householders are being encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.Instead of searching for a cheaper deal, householders are being encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The Energy Saving Trust says that changes to our homes and habits could offset the current price rises.The Energy Saving Trust says that changes to our homes and habits could offset the current price rises.
What is the energy price cap?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 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. The cap was increased on 1 October, meaning about 15 million households face 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 yearThose 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 yearHouseholds 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 £1,309People 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 levelHouseholds 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
Energy regulator, Ofgem said the cap will go up again in April, the next time it is reviewed.
It said the cap was there to stop energy firms making unfair profits, but "legitimate costs have to be passed through" to customers.
In Northern Ireland, there is a separate energy market with two suppliers. Prices also rise this month - by 21.8% (SSE) and 35% (Firmus).In Northern Ireland, there is a separate energy market with two suppliers. Prices also rise this month - by 21.8% (SSE) and 35% (Firmus).
It's likely the energy cap will rise again in April, as energy firms are paying high prices for gas.
Consumers should be prepared for more suppliers collapsing, analysts from Cornwall Insight said. The firm predicted that the energy price cap will soar by £400 in the spring.
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.
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.Since wholesale gas prices started to spike, a number of firms have collapsed.
They have been unable to pay higher prices for gas supplies, or pass all of the increased costs on to customers.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 were 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?
Gas prices: 'I'm just watching the meter go up'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
About 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.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.
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.