Energy bills are going to rise even further this spring, as the price cap is lifted again.
The new price cap will come into force on 1 April and it could mean an extra £700 a year on bills.
The default price tariff for a typical home will jump from £1,277 a year to £1,971.
And it’s going up even more for those of us on prepayment meters. The cap for meters will rise to £2,017.
What is the price cap?
The price cap is the maximum amount our supplier can charge us per unit of energy if we live in England, Scotland or Wales. This announcement means it’s gone up 54 per cent.
It had already risen in October 2021 and will be amended again in October this year. Most people expect it will increase again.
National insurance rates are also rising this spring, which is going to squeeze those of us in work.
It’s going up by 1.25 percentage points. That means if we currently pay National Insurance of 12 per cent it’ll rise to 13.5 per cent from April.
What if I’m struggling?
The first thing we should do is speak to our energy supplier. We can’t expect miracles, but they might be able to change our payments to make things easier.
We can also check we’re claiming all the support we’re entitled to.
There is some government cash on the way. If we’re in England and in a Band A-D home, we’ll get a discount on our council tax to help balance the rising bills.
If our home is in a different band but we’re on a low income, the discount may still apply. We should check with our council.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland haven’t yet said how they’ll distribute their share of the cash.
There’s also going to be a £200 loan to help pay energy bills. It’s not coming in until October 2022 though – and it needs to be repaid over five years.
The Warm Home Discount is also being expanded. It’s worth £140 off our bill and if we’re on the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit we can claim it.
It’s also open to people on low incomes, and it’s this group that now includes more people.
But there’s a limited supply of the discount. We can find out more from our energy supplier.
Should I switch supplier?
For years the Quids in! advice was always to shop around to fix on the best deal possible. Then when the price cap rose in October 2021 for most people it was cheaper to stay on the default tariff. That means paying the rate set by the price cap.
With this new rise in the price cap things are even more confusing! For most of us, it’ll be cheapest to stick on the default tariff, but money-saving expert Martin Lewis has crunched the numbers for us.
With food prices rising too, any savings we can make on our bills is worth it. The Quids in! website has lots of tips on saving energy.
We could save money on food costs too with the Quids in! Food Guide.