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Energy bills will remain dangerously high despite next week's Ofgem Price Cap announcement

ENERGY bills will remain “dangerously high” this winter despite regulator Ofgem being expected to lower its price cap next week, campaigners warned yesterday.

Even though next Friday’s figure is likely to reduce average annual bills to £1,925 in October, gas and electricity costs will still be more than double what they were before the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the End Fuel Poverty Coalition said.

It condamned Tory ministers for cutting bill support, saying that the move almost cancels out” declining wholesale costs, and for failing to tackle Britain’s “broken energy system.”

The damning intervention followed warnings from energy consultancy firm Cornwall Insight that the expected £1,925 figure will be not a cap on households’ overall bills.

Regulators put on a limit on the amount consumers have to pay per kilowatt hour, or unit, of gas and electricity, with the latest figure based on what Ofgem thinks a typical household will use.

Those who use less will pay less, while those who use more will have to fork out more.

Cornwall Insight principal consultant Dr Craig Lowrey said: “While a small decrease in bills is to be welcomed, we once again see energy price forecasts far above pre-crisis levels, underscoring the limitations of the price cap as a tool for supporting households. 

“As many have acknowledged, it is essential that the government explore alternative solutions, such as social tariffs, to ensure stability and affordability for consumers.”

He warned that bills could rise again next year as Britain’s “structural reliance on gas imports means it is highly susceptible to fluctuations in the international wholesale energy market.”

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition blasted Downing Street for withdrawing the Energy Bills Support Scheme in March, noting the loss of the 16 per cent bills cut it had introduced meant that most people would “not feel any reduction in unit costs as [support] has been taken away from them.”

Ministers axed the scheme despite inflation running at a 40-year high and mortgage payments soaring following the botched mini-Budget last autumn under then prime minister Liz Truss. 

A coalition spokesperson said: “Even after the next Ofgem announcement, gas unit costs will still have more than doubled since winter 2020-21, with standing charges also rising.

“For electricity, the situation is even worse, thanks to Britain’s broken energy system, which fails to pass on the cheaper cost of renewables to customers.”


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