Energy bills being paid by households across the UK are likely to increase by hundreds of pounds next year, according to industry experts.
Analysts at the research agency Cornwall Insight have said that the official energy price cap set by Ofgem could be raised by as much as £400 in April 2022.
The price cap is set every six months in advance of either winter or summer and is currently set at £1,277 for UK consumers.
However, sharp increases in the price of gas on wholesale markets in recent weeks and the collapse of several energy supply companies are expected to bring about the need for a huge change in where that price cap is set.
According to Cornwall Insight, the price cap could be increased to around £1,660 in April, which would represent a 30 per cent jump between winter 2021/22 and summer 2022.
Many households across Scotland and the UK have seen their energy bills increase significantly in recent weeks because of turbulence within wholesale energy markets and because Ofgem’s price cap was recently changed.
The recent price cap increase means that the average price paid by a given household for their energy supplies over the course of a year will be £139 up on last year.
However, expectations are now that the increase to the price cap ahead of the winter months will be much lower that what is to come from April of next year.
Many millions of households are likely to be impacted by the changes to the price cap, particularly energy customers on default tariffs and those who rely on pre-payment meters.
Ofgem has said its price cap is designed to ensure roughly 15 million energy consumers do not pay more for their gas and electricity than is “absolutely necessary”.
A spokesperson for the industry regulator told the BBC that the organisation understands the concerns many people are having about the likely impact of market turbulence on their energy bills.
The advice from the regulator is for anyone worried about how they will pay their energy bills to contact their suppliers and find out what support measures they might be able to access.
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