Energy bills increased by £693 for an average household in April after Ofgem’s announcement on the price cap. In August Ofgem  announced the energy price cap would increase to £3,549 per year for dual fuel for an average household from 1 October 2022.

A new, two-year ‘Energy Bills Guarantee’ will ‘ensure that the average household in Great Britain will pay no more than £2,500 on its energy bills per annum’, according to the government. Whilst considerably less than the Ofgem announcement this is still a significant increase, 96%, in a year and millions will continue to struggle.

The increase reflects the continued rise in global wholesale gas prices, which began to surge as the world unlocked from the Covid pandemic and have been driven still higher to record levels by Russia slowly switching off gas supplies to Europe.

No doubt this is worrying, but our simple message is do not make any hasty decisions and start preparing for winter now. Over the course of the next few weeks our Green Doctor energy experts will be offering online advice on a number of energy-saving tips, to help you economise on your energy consumption. 

Why are Energy Bills Rising?

Fatih Birol executive director of the International Energy Agency recently wrote: “Unfortunately, we are once again seeing claims that volatility in gas and electricity markets is the result of the clean energy transition. These assertions are misleading to say the least. This is not a renewables or a clean-energy crisis; this is a natural gas market crisis.”

Extra targeted support

  • People on lowest incomes/means-tested benefits – 8 million households – will receive a one-off ‘cost of living payment’ of £650, totalling £5 billion, to be paid in July and Autumn directly to bank accounts.
  • Pensioners – 8 million – who are in receipt of Winter Fuel Payment will receive a one-off pensioner cost of living payment of £300.
  • Disabled people – 6 million in receipt of non-means-tested disability benefits – will receive a one-off disability payment worth £150. Many will also receive the means-tested benefits £650 payment, so a total of £800 which will offset the average price increase from October.
  • Household Support Fund will be extended by £500 million from October and there will be legislation to extend it to all devolved nations.
  • One-third of all households will benefit from the cost-of-living payments

Universal support

  • The £200 rebate announced in February will be doubled to £400 and will be a grant. This means it doesn’t need to be paid back.

Help for families:

  • From 1 October, a new, two-year ‘Energy Bills Guarantee’ will ensure that the average household in Great Britain will pay no more than £2,500 on its energy bills per annum. * This has changed as of 17th October, the Energy Bills Guarantee will now only last until April 2023 – not the original two years as promoted. Further details about any relief after April have not yet been published. 
  • This will be paired with both the existing Energy Bill Support Scheme (EBSS), which will provide £400 support to households, and a £150 saving, brought about by a temporary suspension of green levies on energy bills.
  • Based on current energy prices, the three measures above will save the average household £1,000 per year, keeping energy bills close to the current cap level.

The new 1 Oct price guarantee average direct debit rates have been announced Electricity Unit rate: 34.00p per kWh Standing charge: 46.36p per day. Gas  Unit rate: 10.30p per kWh. Standing charge: 28.49p per day

Help for businesses and other non-domestic energy users:

  • A new six-month scheme will provide equivalent support for businesses and other non-domestic energy users, such as churches and schools, protecting them against rising energy bills.
  • This is a universal offer, which will be available to all businesses that are not on fixed price contracts or have agreed fixed price contracts in recent months.
  • After six months, the Government will provide further support for vulnerable industries, such as hospitality.
  • There will be a review in three months’ time to consider where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support.

Groundwork Response

“Today’s announcement offers some relief to people who have been living in fear of their energy bills, but we need to remember that too many people were in fuel poverty before prices began to soar and millions will continue to struggle despite these new measures. The waiting lists for our Green Doctors continue to grow.

“If step one is to stem the rise in bills, step two needs to be about providing more – and better coordinated – advice so that people are more able to manage their energy use and make the most of what they can afford. We need to act now if we are going to help people stay warm, well and save lives this winter and beyond.

“Step three, of course, is to fix the underlying problems for the long term. The UK has the least well insulated housing stock in Europe, and it’s vital that we change this – retrofitting our homes and buildings alongside the shift to renewable energy sources. Suspending green levies while ramping up fossil fuel production puts communities at greater risk from climate change in the future.”

Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive at Groundwork UK,

We can offer impartial energy advice to anyone struggling with their bills through our Green Doctor service. During a Green Doctor consultation, our energy experts can help you reduce your energy usage; keeping you well and warm.

The Green Doctor can also help you access financial initiatives to contribute towards your bills and signpost to other organisations in your community who may be able to help.

See what free support is available in your area: