Home Optimal energy UK energy bills hit new high as fuel poverty fears escalate

UK energy bills hit new high as fuel poverty fears escalate

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Families have been urged to take a photo of their meter reading and do what they can to reduce their energy use as prices rise from Saturday.

The amount a household pays for every kilowatt-hour of electricity it uses will rise to 34p from the already record 28p families are paying today.

Gas prices will rise from 7p to 10p per kilowatt hour under the new guarantee.

This means that a typical household in the UK will spend around £2,500 on their energy bills – but those who use a lot of gas and electricity will naturally pay more.

Just a year earlier, gas had cost 4p per kilowatt hour for customers on the price cap and electricity charges were 21p.

Ofgem said people should take a picture of their energy meters and submit it to their suppliers.

But after a massive increase in the number of people submitting readings caused problems for many providers, the regulator stressed that people did not need to submit all of their readings on Saturday.

“If you plan to submit your meter reading before October 1, you can submit it within a reasonable time after that,” the regulator said.

Charities National Energy Action and the Food Foundation have warned that the number of fuel-poor households has risen from 4.5 million a year ago to 6.7 million now.

Dominic Watters, a single father from the south of England, said there was a shortage of fuel and food in his estate, the charities said.

“The poor had a cost of living crisis long before the term was popularized and now these fuel price hikes are throwing us even deeper into despair,” Mr Watters told them.

“When the electricity is in a state of emergency, I live in a state of emergency, not knowing if I will be able to cook, boil the kettle, wash my daughter’s uniform or even take a shower.”

Laura Sandys, President and Founder of the Food Foundation, said: “For many households this winter may not be about heating or eating; the cost of living crisis and rising energy bills will see children living in homes where there is no longer that choice – they will both be hungry and cold.”

Leaking houses remain vulnerable

The Resolution Foundation think tank said people living in the most leaky homes will struggle the most this winter.

Bill increases will be twice as great for those living in poorly insulated homes as for those with energy-efficient properties.

Rural houses, which are generally larger and less well insulated, will also cost more to heat.

Jonathan Marshall, lead economist at the think tank, called on the government to help people reduce their long-term energy use.

“While the scale of support is extremely welcome, millions of households will remain exposed to unaffordable energy costs.

“People living in poorly insulated homes will see their bills rise this winter to more than double that of families living in well-insulated homes.

“And while the government has made the right call for short-term price intervention, in the longer term the incentives to reduce consumption will become increasingly important.”

Experts say there are plenty of ways to cut energy costs this winter.

One of the easiest ways, which will not reduce the heat in your home, is to ensure that the flow temperature of your gas condensing boiler is set to its optimum level.

This can help the boiler operate optimally. Turning down thermostats can also save money, but should only be done if the temperature inside remains safe.

Watch: Five tips to lower your energy bills

Updated: 01 October 2022, 00:52