Energy price cap increase: 7 ways to get help as Ofgem announces rise to £3,549

Ofgem energy price cap rise 'bad news' warns Scorer

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The new price cap is to increase to £3,549 for a typical household, industry regulator Ofgem has confirmed. Analysts have urged consumers to be careful when thinking about switching supplier.

Senior personal finance analyst, Sarah Coles, said: “We knew today’s announcement was going to be painful, but it’s still a shock to the system.

“When this kicks in in October, millions of people will struggle to pay the bills.

“The first of the universal cost of living payments will kick in from October, but the scale of the rise means a £400 boost is a drop in the ocean.

“It means it’s worth checking whether you could be entitled to any other help from your provider, the government or your council.

“There are several schemes and they’re not all simple to navigate, so if you’re struggling, it’s worth speaking to charities who know the systems well – including Citizens Advice and Stepchange.”

Cost of living payments

People on low incomes are receiving a £650 one-off payment to help meet the rising cost of living.

This is being paid in two instalments – the first £326 payment went out to people on eligible benefits such as Universal Credit and Pension Credit in July, with the second to arrive in the autumn.

The first of the payments for people on tax credits will be arriving in bank accounts in September.

Any Briton due a Universal Credit payment during the qualifying period is eligible.

A £150 disability cost of living payment will be paid out from September 20 with eligible people to receive the money automatically.

All UK households will also get the £400 energy bills rebate paid direct to their provider in instalments between October and March.

Pensioners cost of living payment

A cost of living payment will be added to the Winter Fuel Payment this year, with recipients to get between £150 and £300.

The payment goes out to anyone over state pension age and is paid in November or December.

The total a person receives will range from £250 to £600.

‘Labour approach’ to energy will save Britain [INSIGHT]
Energy bills: The nine dates that will decide how much YOU pay [LATEST]
Energy crisis lifeline as fracking tipped to slash bills if permitted [UPDATE]


Major suppliers offer grants to their own customers, including EDF, E.on Next, Shell and Scottish Power.

British Gas Energy Trust offers grants to anyone who is struggling, regardless of if they are a British Gas customer.

For those who need help with the application process, charities like Stepchange and Citizens Advice can offer support.

Warm Home Discount

This £150 rebate will be paid by suppliers between October and Match, to people on Pension Credit or other specific benefits.

Those who get the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit will get a letter telling them how to apply for the discount.

Individuals can check with their supplier to confirm who is eligible and the process for applying for the help.

Cold Weather Payments

Older people and those on specific benefits in England and Wales will get £25 for each seven-day period between November and the end of March, when the average temperature is below freezing.

For those in Scotland this has been replaced by a £50 one-off payment made to everyone who qualifies in February, regardless of how low the temperature gets.

The local council

The Household Support scheme in England is available from the local council and is designed to help people in especially desperate circumstances.

Each local authority will have specific criteria and an application process, so individuals should contact their council to find out more.

A person can find out who their local council is on the Government website.

Other support from energy suppliers

Ofgem rules mean suppliers have to offer several options to help people struggling to pay their bills.

This includes an affordable payment plan, payment reductions or time to pay, with the option to switch to a prepayment meter.

People who have spoken to their supplier but still can’t cover their bills can contact a debt charity like StepChange or Citizens Advice for more guidance.

This includes an affordable payment plan, payment reductions or time to pay, with the option to switch to a prepayment meter.

Ms Coles warned the schemes could be “overwhelmed” if the Government does not step up to do more.

She said: “Given the scale of the price rises, if there’s nothing more forthcoming from the government, these schemes will be completely overwhelmed, and millions of people will fall behind on their bills.

“It means the new Prime Minister is highly likely to be forced to take action in order to help.

“We can only hope this will be announced sooner rather than later and put an end to the months of worry inflicted on people who have been wrestling with energy prices at their current levels – let alone with the rise.

“Elsewhere around the world Governments have responded with lump sum payments, harsher price caps and subsidies.

“In the UK, suggestions have ranged from cancelling taxes and levies on bills to freezing prices for longer and lending money to energy companies to spread the extra cost.

“However, we will have to wait to see whether any of them get off the ground – and whether they do so to in time to ease the pain in October.”

Source: Read Full Article