Why are prices so high?
The pandemic recovery increased gas demand, resulting in a supply shortage and higher gas prices. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted gas supplies and increased prices. Because 40% of electricity is generated from renewables but is mostly combined with gas-generated electricity transmitted through the electricity network, electricity prices are linked to gas prices. Despite the presence of more renewables, the energy system links the price of electricity to the price of gas.
Why was my standing charge raised by my supplier?
The standing charge is a daily price that you pay to your energy provider regardless of how much energy you use. It is not covered by the Energy Price Guarantee, and the limit imposed by Ofgem varies depending on the type of energy, supplier, tariff, and area. Standing charges are used by energy suppliers to cover expenses such as maintaining energy networks, connecting residences to the network, and metre readings. Standing charges have recently increased due to the failure of some energy suppliers in 2021 and the associated costs of moving consumers to new suppliers. Some suppliers are accused of raising charges above what was necessary, however Ofgem enables suppliers to set their own standing charges and tariff rates as long as the overall bill does not exceed the average amount.
Is there confusion about energy price changes?
Gas prices are down in the headlines; will my bills follow suit? Energy Saving Trust’s Abigail Ward clarifies: Because of a milder winter that reduced demand for heating and boosted worldwide storage of liquefied natural gas, wholesale gas prices have lately plummeted, lowering reliance on Russian gas. This has alleviated concerns about gas shortages this winter, although wholesale gas prices are still higher than they were two years ago. Wholesale prices may fall if demand continues to fall. However, in order to guarantee consistent prices and supplies, energy suppliers buy gas and electricity in advance, so any decrease in wholesale costs may not immediately affect consumer bills. Reports show prices for later in 2023 are now higher than the current cost of gas, indicating prices could still be high next winter.
What is the outlook for energy bills in April? I heard there will be no support available.
The UK government has announced that the Energy Price Guarantee would be extended until March 2024. If prices stay high, this scheme will continue to assist people by cutting their energy bill expenses under the price cap. The £400 payment from the Energy Bills Support Scheme will no longer be available, but disadvantaged households will receive cost-of-living allowances in the spring of this year.
Surely, doing simple things like turning off things on standby won’t make a difference in my energy bills?
Despite their tiny size, simple energy-saving acts can add up and help cut energy consumption. You will not save money by leaving appliances, devices, or lights on while they are not in use. Turning off your appliances and electronics and avoiding standby mode might save you up to £65 each year.
I was told draught-proofing my house will make it warmer, but won’t I have to deal with condensation and mould?
If you have mould in your home, clean it up and investigate the source. If the mould is caused by damaged or leaking plumbing, or if a damp proof course isn’t working, you’ll almost always require the help of a professional to diagnose and repair the problem.
If this isn’t the source of the condensation or mould, it’s most likely a moisture issue in the air. We propose hiring an expert to evaluate your home, advise you on how to eliminate draughts, and ensure adequate ventilation. We would not recommend installing new draught-proofing in a room with a condensation problem.
If you don’t have condensation issues, draught-proofing can help you save money on energy and feel more comfortable. To avoid future difficulties, make sure that no regulated ventilation is blocked. Air-bricks, grilles, wall vents, and trickle vents should all be left open to allow wet air to escape and fresh air to enter.
Draughts can enter your home through any unintentional breach, such as gaps between skirting boards or door frames. Most of these should be blocked, but be cautious in locations that require sufficient ventilation. Take extra precautions in spaces with open fires or flues, as well as rooms with a lot of moisture, such as kitchens, baths, and utility rooms.
Removable draught-proofing, such as stuffed draught-excluders, may not be as effective, but they are a viable solution because they allow you to readily ventilate rooms. Condensation is less common in warm homes because moisture condenses on cooler walls. If your home is properly aired and heated, you may have a lower chance of condensation.
How can I locate a good solar panel supplier?
Begin by obtaining suggestions from people in your network to identify a trustworthy and reliable solar panel supplier.
We recommend getting estimates from companies such as Creativ Energy. Installers who use high-pressure sales tactics or offer big discounts for immediate signature should be avoided. Inquire about warranties, guarantees, and after-sales service.
If you live in Scotland, you can use the Renewables Installer Finder to find MCS certified installers in your region and read testimonials from former customers.
If heat pumps are unavailable, what’s a good alternative to a gas boiler?
The best option to a gas boiler will be determined by your individual circumstances and your definition of “best.” Electric heating, such as storage heaters or direct acting electric heaters, may be a good option if you want a low or zero-carbon solution. Although these solutions may have greater operating costs than heat pumps or gas boilers, you can offset some of these costs by adding solar panels. It may also be good to look into connecting to district heating systems.
I’ve done as much as I can to use less energy, but I’m still in the same boat when it comes to my bills and heating, what help can I receive?
Maintaining a warm home is essential for both physical and mental well-being, so make sure you have enough energy to do it.
Begin by making a budget to better understand your monthly income and expenses. For assistance, use the Citizens Advice online budget tool. Finding ways to cut costs or improve revenue could allow you to put more money towards your energy bills. Citizens Advice provides further cost of living advice.
To help with energy bills, you may be eligible for subsidies or incentives such as a fuel voucher or grant from your energy supplier. All households are eligible for government assistance, such as the Energy Price Guarantee until 2024 and £400 off electricity bills under the Energy Bill Support Scheme
If you have past-due bills with your energy provider, contact them to work out a payment plan. Negotiate a mutually acceptable plan. If you require additional support, the Citizens Guidance consumer helpline offers phone or email advice from professional advisors.
What help can I receive if I cannot afford oil for heating?
If you have an oil-fired central heating and hot water system and an electrical connection, you may save £400 through the Energy Bill Support Scheme. Furthermore, the Energy Price Guarantee will limit your electricity bills.
If oil is your major heating source and you do not have access to natural gas, you may be eligible for financial assistance if you cannot afford it or are concerned about future affordability. Citizens Advice can help you with the application process.
I still have yet to receive the £400 energy bill discount, what should i do?
The £400 energy bill discount should be distributed in six payments through the Energy Bills Support Scheme, including £66 in October and November, £67 in December 2022, and £67 in January, February, and March 2023.
The amount you receive for the £400 energy bill discount through the Energy Bills Support Scheme is determined by your power payment method and your supplier’s policies. If you pay by direct debit, you may see your payment to your supplier reduced or a refund applied to your account. The discount will be applied to your smart metre if you have one. If you have a classic prepayment metre, you should have gotten vouchers via email, text message, or regular mail. If you cannot locate the voucher, please contact your provider to get it reissued. It is recommended that if you pay your landlord for energy, you seek assistance from the Citizens Advice website, as landlords are expected to pass on a fair amount of any discount received to you.
Why are Energy Bills Rising By 20% Despite 70% Decline in Wholesale Gas Prices?
Despite a 70% decline in wholesale gas costs, energy bills are expected to rise by 20% beginning in April. This is despite the government predicting £11 billion in savings. Due to the Conservative party’s decision to lower subsidy levels under the Energy Price Guarantee, struggling households’ average annual bills will climb from £2,500 to £3,000 in the spring. Furthermore, all households will no longer receive a £400 payout.