Energy bills are set to go up for many households across England, Wales and Scotland as the energy price cap is increasing from 1 October 2021. The cap is being increased by the energy regulator Ofgem, to take into account the rising cost of gas and electricity.
What is the energy price cap?
The energy price cap is the maximum price suppliers can charge customers on a standard (default) tariff or a prepayment meter for their energy costs. This cap was introduced to protect consumers from energy suppliers increasing bills without a limit.
Standard tariffs are variable, which means energy suppliers can increase or decrease the rate they charge you at any time.
How does it affect me?
As the energy price cap is increasing from 1 October 2021, energy suppliers can charge up to the maximum allowed. This means standard tariffs could increase by £139 (to £1,277 per year – which is the average UK household energy cost) with prepayment customers seeing a potential increase by £153 to £1,309 per year.
If you are on a fixed rate tariff, you won’t be affected by the changes until your current deal ends, so please be aware when your fixed tariff ends.
What should I do?
If you’ve never switched energy suppliers, or you last switched over a year ago, you will most likely have defaulted to a standard (or default) tariff when your fixed period ended, which means you may be paying too much for your energy.
You could reduce your energy costs by checking if you could move to a cheaper deal, either with your current supplier or to another company. Please visit www.uswitch.com or www.moneysupermarket.com to look for the best tariff for you.
If you have been affected by your supplier going into administration, the advice is not to switch until the new supplier contacts you. Once the new supplier has contacted you, you can ask them to put you on their cheapest tariff or shop around.
For more information on the energy price cap increase and how it can affect you, please visit the Ofgem website.
If you are concerned about the impact this will have on your finances or are experiencing financial difficulties, please email us at RRT@derwentliving.com or call us on 01332 614 900 and speak to a member of our team.
You can also find useful information and links on our dedicated financial support pages.
The Warm Home Discount
Did you know you could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2021 to 2022? If you qualify, it’s a one-off discount applied directly to your electricity account between October 2021 and March 2022. The scheme is operated in partnership with many of the larger energy companies.
Do I qualify for the Warm Home Discount?
There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme:
- If you are in receipt of the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit you will automatically receive the discount. You will receive a letter between October and December 2021 to confirm this. This letter will say if you need to call a helpline by 28 February 2021 to confirm your details. Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by 31 March 2021. If you do not receive a letter, please contact the Warm Home Discount helpline on 0800 731 0214, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Call charges will apply.
- If you are in receipt of certain benefits, on a low income and/or have a disability you may also qualify for the discount as part of the broader group if your electricity supplier offers this.
For more information on the Warm Home Discount, please visit the warm home discount page on gov.uk or email the Places for People Money Advice Team at firstname.lastname@example.org