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Are energy bills going up this winter? How can I pay less?

Daily Express logo Daily Express 19/09/2021 Aliss Higham
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Since January 2021, the wholesale price of gas has risen by a staggering 250 percent, according to Oil & Gas UK. Since August alone, the price has soared by 70 percent, and supplies have been impacted by a number of reasons.

Why are gas supplies running low?

A cold winter across Europe in 2020/2021 put pressure on supplies, and currently the amount of gas in store has dropped well below average levels.

The UK by and large relies on gas coming from the North Sea, but also on Norway.

There is also increased demand and competition for liquefied natural gas sourced from Asia, which in parts also experienced a cold winter.

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Woman touching radiator © GETTY Woman touching radiator Gas © GETTY Gas

Are energy bills increasing this winter?

Regardless of the squeeze, some 15 million households in England, Scotland and Wales are going to see their bills rise in October because the energy price cap is going to rise by 12 percent in October.

Those on standard tariffs could see an increase of £139, from £1,138 to £1,277, according to the energy regulator Ofgem.

Prepayment customers could be paying an increase of £153, from £1,156 to £1,309.

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Gas boiler © GETTY Gas boiler

Houses on fixed tariffs will not be affected by the upcoming increase - but those coming to the end of their contract are unlikely to get a cheaper deal.

The energy price cap is the maximum a supplier can charge you if you are on a standard or default tariff.

This is standard deal you'll get if you don't sign up to a fixed rate tariff when joining a supplier.

You will also be on a standard tariff if your fixed rate ends and you don't switch to a new deal.

Standard tariffs are variable between suppliers, meaning you could be paying a different amount for the same amount of energy with any given company.

If you are on a standard tariff, your energy company can increase or decrease the rate they charge you at any time - but the price cap limits this.

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a man is using his cell phone: Old woman with purse © GETTY Old woman with purse

Should I switch supplier?

It's predicted that all suppliers will be raising their prices in line with the cap increase because of waning supplies.

However, this should not stop you from shopping about for a better deal on your home energy.

There are several methods for switching supplier - but the easiest is to use an energy comparison site.

All you need to hand is the name of your current supplier, the name of your current tariff, and your postcode.

You can also call your current supplier and ask them about any deals they have - as you may not even be on the cheapest tariff with your current supplier.

However, prices are expected to be similar across all suppliers this winter as the shortage is expected to continue throughout the season.

But, ultimately, switching to a new deal could save you hundreds of pounds a year, so it's worth taking the time to look for something new.

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