People across the country will be hit by unprecedented increases in their energy bills starting today.
A ‘typical’ household will now spend £2,500 a year on energy after a steeper increase was prevented by the government.
Liz Truss has announced support will cost £150bn in the long term to keep energy bills from soaring to the £6,500 forecast by analysts.
The price cap reflects the maximum unit price for average usage, but homes that need more energy still pay more.
Rural homes, which tend to be larger and more difficult to insulate, are likely to pay more, as are households with disabled people or young children.
This figure for a ‘typical’ user was calculated by reference to a limit of 34p per kWh of electricity and 10.3p per kWh of gas for dual-fuel customers on a standard variable tariff.
But most households are not “typical” and the final bill actually depends on how much energy is being used.
People have been urged to report their meter readings but face long phone waits and crashed websites.
Ofgem has told its customers that if they wait in long queues to provide meter readings they can try again another day.
The regulator said: “If you plan to submit your meter reading by October 1, you can submit it a reasonable time later.”
Everyone is paying more for their energy compared to this time last year and this has prompted charities National Energy Action and the Food Foundation to warn that the number of households in energy poverty has fallen from 4.5 million to 6.7 million has increased.
Dominic Watters, a single father living on a council estate in southern England, said: “The poor were facing a livelihood crisis long before the term became popular and now these soaring fuel prices are driving us even further to despair.
“When the power goes out I live in a state of emergency and I don’t know if I can cook the food, boil the kettle, wash my daughter’s uniform or even take a shower.”
Jonathan Marshall, an economist at The Resolution Foundation, a think tank focused on cost-of-living issues, has urged the government to step up its intervention to help those in need in society.
He said: “While the level of support is very welcome, millions of homes will continue to face prohibitive energy costs.
“People living in poorly insulated homes will see bill increases this winter more than double those for families in well insulated homes.
“And while the government has correctly called for short-term price interventions, longer-term incentives to reduce consumption are becoming increasingly important.”
Experts say there are several ways for homes to save energy this winter.
Simple measures like turning the thermostat down a degree, insulating the house well, and turning off the lights can help save money.
The Prime Minister said: “The cost of not acting would have been huge.
“To ensure the UK public is not left in this position again, we are also addressing the problem at its source by increasing domestic energy and reducing reliance on foreign supplies to strengthen our energy security and independence.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/10/01/cost-of-living-crisis-energy-price-hike-from-october-1-17484476/ Cost of living crisis: Energy price increase from October 1st