Martin Lewis says ‘unaffordable’ energy bill hikes are coming – and what to do

A massive increase in the cost of wholesale gas has pushed up household energy bills across the country, the MoneySavingExpert guru said, and it is expected to happen again in April.

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Martin Lewis on rising energy bills in April

Consumer expert Martin Lewis said “unaffordable” energy bill price hikes are coming, but consumers can take steps to help them.

Speaking live on the ITV Money Show Thursday, Lewis said those bills could increase by 50 percent in April.

The hike is coming as a price cap that limits the amount energy providers can charge for variable rate agreements will be revised – and will almost certainly increase .

Lewis said: “In April the energy price cap will rise by 50%, adding unaffordable £ 600 to the total bill.”

The best thing for most consumers to do if their energy deal is about to be renewed is to do nothing and run into a price cap limited supply, Lewis said.






Energy bills could rise by 50% in April, Lewis said

In the past, the cheapest energy deals were normally fixed rate deals, not variable rate ones – which many consumers found themselves defaulting to when their contracts expired.

But now energy prices have risen so much that almost everyone had better end up with their energy supplier’s variable rate deal, limited by the cap, rather than signing up to new fixed rates. .

Have you been billed huge sums for fixed rate energy deals? Message [email protected]







The best thing for almost any household is to stumble upon energy deals limited by a price cap, Lewis said
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Around 65% of UK households are subject to variable rate energy tariffs.

Lewis said: “The vast majority of people should still do nothing and stick to the price cap.

“Currently, energy price caps are forcing energy suppliers to sell gas and electricity below cost. There are no significantly cheaper offers.”

The only good reason to get a fixed rate deal is for its cost to be 40% of the current cap of £ 1,277, Lewis said.

He added, “If your business has a solution, you need to calculate by how much it exceeds the price cap. “

The cheapest fixed rate offer is currently 50% above the ceiling price.

But some energy companies might be giving existing customers cheap deals on fixed rates, so don’t rule out the idea altogether, Lewis said.

Lewis added that the cost of gas to energy companies is still four times its usual rate, leading to higher prices.

It increased to nine times the norm in 2021.

How the energy price cap works

The ceiling price is set by the energy regulator, Ofgem.

This cap limits the amount that companies can charge the average customer on their default gas and electricity tariffs – typically variable rate agreements.

This cap is currently £ 1,277 per year for default rates and £ 1,309 for prepayment agreements.

Technically, this is a cap on how much energy companies can charge you for tariffs.

Price caps are being revised in April for England, Scotland and Wales – Northern Ireland has a different system.

When that happens, it is likely to increase, meaning households will pay even more for energy.

Energy UK chief executive Emma Pinchbeck warned that “domestic energy prices will rise 45-50% in the spring”.

Another expert, energy specialist Cornwall Insights, said bills could rise by 46%, with the price cap rising to £ 1,865 a year.

Lewis also said data roaming charges were coming back – and urged Britons not to get caught.

Mobile phone companies were previously prohibited from charging additional fees for using your UK allowance – calls, texts and data – while on vacation in the European Union (EU).

However, this no longer applies now that the Brexit transition period has ended.

Vodafone customers already have to pay daily fees to make calls or use data while on vacation in EU countries – with EE and Three to follow later in the year.

Each network is reintroducing roaming charges, which will cost £ 2 per day overseas in some destinations.

Vodafone has confirmed that its roaming charges will apply from January 6, while EE will start charges from March 3 after previously announcing that they will go into effect from January.

Fees for EE customers will affect those who joined the network or upgraded after July 7, 2021.

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