THE ENERGY price cap will come into place this weekend, meaning the typical household energy bill will be frozen at £2,500.
It comes as millions of Brits are being forced to sell their belongings to pay off their bills during the cost of living crisis, a shock report has found.
Which? said energy firms "can and should do more to help" after a new survey suggested 65% of households had resorted to measures such as cutting back on essentials, selling items or dipping into savings to fund the increasing costs of bills.
Read our cost of living live blog below for the latest updates....
New price cap – what you need to know
There is no absolute cap on the total energy a household pays for.
The government’s two-year price guarantee means the average unit price for dual fuel customers paying by direct debit for variable deals is limited to 34p per kWh for electricity and 10.3p per kWh for gas.
How much are energy bills going up by?
Saturday marked an increase in the price of energy bills for millions of homes, despite government support to cap costs.
Politicians were forced to intervene after an 80 percent increase in gas and electricity bills ahead of this winter.
A standard bill has gone up from £1,971 to £2,500.
Government support for rising energy bills not enough, head of charity warns
Government support for rapidly rising energy bills is not enough, the head of an energy charity has warned.
“The most vulnerable, including children, will be cold and hungry as energy prices spiral, despite government support,” Adam Scorer, from charity National Energy Action, told the BBC.
Get up to £1,000 with the welfare assistance scheme
The welfare assistance scheme is similar to the household support scheme.
Your local authority provides you with vouchers for rent, energy bills, food and furniture.
The Sun has previously revealed that you can get up to £1,000 with this scheme.
However, not every council offers it.
Click here to find out more.
Cheap broadband deals for struggling Brits
Four million Brits are eligible for low-cost social broadband tariffs.
But despite a slew of firms providing low-cost deals, only 1.2% of eligible Brits have signed up.
Here is a list of companies which offer low-cost social broadband tariffs.
Click here for more information.
Top tips to reduce bills
The pros from NetVoucherCodes.co.uk are sharing their top tips on how to reduce heat loss in the home ahead of the chilly months.
Store your items carefully
Loft wool works by trapping air in its void and by squashing it, you reduce its effectiveness. It’s best to use something like timber boards to store your items and make sure they are raised above the loft wool.
Use reflective foil behind radiators
Placing reflective foil behind radiators will reflect the heat back into the room rather than allowing it to escape through the walls and windows. If you’re looking for a quick solution, try wrapping a piece of cardboard in foil and placing it behind the radiator.
Use draught excluders
Turning off some of the radiators in rooms you don’t intend on using this winter is a great way to save money. However you’ll want to make sure no cold air from these rooms seeps through to the rest of your home.
You can get free debt advice
If you’re in debt there are plenty of services you can take advantage of and they offer free advice on how to manage debt.
Most of them can offer you free guidance and help in person, over the telephone or online.
How will your energy reduction be sent?
From October, Brits will receive £400 in energy help.
However, each provider will pay the discount in a different form.
Some providers will simply send you the money in six instalments, others will take it off your bill.
Cut back on Kettle use to save on bills
According to experts, a kettle will cost £98 a year to run from today.
Gareth from Uswitch recommends using a hob when you can.
“Water boiled on a gas hob is cheaper than boiling it in a kettle, however it is significantly less convenient,” he said.
Click here for more bill tips.
Warm Home Discount on the way soon
There's no need to claim for the Warm Home Discount this year - instead, the £150 bill help will be dished out automatically to those who qualify.
Millions will get the discount off their energy bills between December - when payments are likely to start - and March 2023.
You'll be eligible for the automatic discount if you received any of the following benefits up to August 21 this year:
- Income support
- Income based jobseeker's allowance
- Income related employment and support allowance
- Housing benefit
- Universal credit
- Child tax credit
- Working tax credits
- Pension credit guaranteed
- Pension credit savings credit
The Department for Work and Pensions, who's overseeing the scheme, will send you letter in October to confirm if you'll get the payment later on in the year.
Is it cheaper to switch or stick with the default tariff?
There are usually no prizes for loyalty when it comes to energy bills.
In the past, households could save hundreds of pounds by switching supplier every year.
This is harder to achieve in today's market - Martin Lewis has previously said it might be worth some customers fixing a deal.
But as energy bills are freezing at £2,500, there's no need to look into fixing a deal now.
Tips on keeping out the cold
Cold air coming into your home equals warm air going out.
Energy expert Kevin advised families to block draughts around doors and windows as well as letterbox and keyholes to keep the chill at bay.
Make sure to turn off games consoles
Many parents will be aware that FIFA 23 has just been released, meaning much more screen time for their children.
It can be easy to forget to switch off the telly or your games console in the evening.
But it can mean that its eating up 19% of your total electricity bill.
Experts warn that leaving everyday items like this on - known as the "vampire" or "phantom" load - could be adding as much as £500 a year to your energy bills unnecessarily.
A TV is one of the most energy-hungry devices in the house when left on standby.
How does the energy price cap work?
The energy price cap works by setting a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge for each unit of gas and electricity.
Ofgem sets a maximum daily standing charge which is what households have to pay in order to have their home connected to the National Grid.
The energy price cap only applies to providers' standard and default tariffs.
This means if you're on a fixed-term energy deal, the cap doesn't apply to you.
Over six million households are currently on a fixed energy tariff, and could end up paying more than the Energy Price Guarantee cap due to the way the discount would be applied.
The new rules mean that customers on expensive fixed deals can simply move on to the cheaper standard variable tariff, which is protected by the Energy Price Guarantee, free of charge.
So you should keep an eye out on emails and text messages if you haven't receoved an update from your supplier yet.
Warm home discount letters to be sent out from today
Warm Home Discount letters will be sent out, letting you know if you will receive the £150 help.
Payments for the £150 Warm Home Discount scheme will likely begin from December.
If you claim the following, you should receive a discount.
Why are energy prices going up?
There has been high demand from Asia, mix that with the low supply from Russia and you're left with a significant reduction in resources coming to the UK.
The current war in Ukraine has also added more pressure on to supplies which were already squeezed due to the pandemic.
Specifically, this was due to a colder European winter in 2020 to 2021 and a relatively windless summer.
The UK also imports more than two-thirds of its gas which is subject to global price swings making prices more volatile and likely to rise.
What is the energy price cap?
The price cap on energy bills was introduced in January 2019 as a way to ensure that households that are not bills-savvy are not ripped off by their energy suppliers.
Twice a year, energy regulator Ofgem would set the maximum price that households on their supplier’s default tariff would have to pay for every unit of gas and electricity they used for the next six months.
It affects roughly 22million people on default or standard tariffs offered by the country's energy providers, according to Ofgem estimations.
But Ofgem announced in August that the price cap will now change every three months.
The cap is calculated based on the wholesale price of gas and electricity and also includes allowances for tax, charges paid to the energy networks, green levies and social payments.
The wholesale price of gas has soared by around eightfold in the last year.
That rise has been passed onto customers - the price cap was already at a record £1,971 over the summer.
How to get help with your water bill
Numerous water companies operate hardship schemes or fund independent charitable trusts which can assist you with your bills.
Find out more here.
Worried about your phone and broadband costs?
If so, check the Ofcom website to see if you can switch to a more affordable social tariff.
What are budgeting loans?
If you’ve been on benefits for six months, you may be eligible for a Budgeting Loan. This can be used for household items, rent in advance and travelling costs.
Check here if you’re eligible.
Who are Don’t Pay?
According to Don’t Pay’s website, 192,920 people have signed up to support them.
They are a movement against the rise in energy bills, and their aims are:
- To demand a reduction in energy bills to an affordable level.
- To withhold payment together if they are ignored.
- They will take this action when they reach 1 million pledges to strike.
Which other groups are protesting against the rising cost of living?
Enough is Enough, a campaign supported by the postal workers’ union, CWU, is organising 28 rallies.
Don’t Pay, which is spreading virally through more than 400 WhatsApp groups, is staging events in 18 towns and cities, according to Guardian Online.
They are backed by Insulate Britain, Just Stop Oil, and Extinction Rebellion.
Cost of living protests trigger Britons to BURN their energy bills
British householders are set to burn their energy bills today, as they are set to protest about surging gas and electricity bills.
Guardian Online reports that supporters of Don’t Pay UK, a grassroots organisation that has the support of 200,000 people, will wield lighters today and cancel their direct debits unless the government does more to help them.
Many community organisations and trade unions are organising the protests to pressure the government further.
What is the Household Support Fund?
£1.5 billion has been made available to support the most vulnerable to pay for their daily costs, like energy bills.
According to gov.uk, those who will benefit from such a payment include pensioners and families with children.
Food vouchers are also available to families via local authorities.
What is the Energy Price Guarantee?
The Energy Price Guarantee will cut the unit cost of electricity and gas so that a typical household only pays £2,500 for their energy bills over the next two years from October 1.
It applies to all households and will save the average household £1,000.