Yes, we're 100% serious about sharing the results of this poll with Rishi Sunak. We're sure he would have had an earful already about the rising cost of energy and how it's going to impact households but the more the merrier.
If we don't get over 2,000 votes we won't bother but by all means be our guest and write directly to Rishi Sunak and let him know how the rise in energy is impacting you and your household. Politicians are public servants so they need to know how their leadership is affecting their citizens.
The rising cost of energy
If you've been watching the news lately it's hard to miss all the reports about the rise in energy bills. As of April 1st 2022 the price cap on energy bills will rise, meaning energy companies will be able to increase how much they charge consumers.
For everyone on a fixed price contract, you won't have to pay any extra until the contract ends, after which you will be rolled over to a variable rate. At the moment, the variable rate of energy is capped at £1,277 but once the cap is removed on 1st April the variable rate will rise to £1,971.
If you're on a pre-payment meter will also be impacted with that price cap increasing from £1,309 to £2,017 on 1 April. That's an increase of £708. To put that rate rise into context, the average 4-person household in the UK spends just under £800 a month on groceries.
Families without any extra disposable income might have to choose between eating and heating.
Unfortunatley for consumers, energy bills are not the only increases they have to wrestle with. UK inflation is currently running hot at a 30 year high sending the cost of living through the roof.
Once the price hikes in gas and electricity take effect, that inflation figure may well jump even higher.
What's the average energy bill In the UK?
The average energy bill in the UK depends on the size of the house and other factors. It's tricky business trying to workout a real average but data published by Ofgem, the energy market regulator, shows that in September 2021 the average UK energy bill was £95 per month, or £1,138 a year.
Why are energy prices going up?
Again, if you've been watching the television news you will have heard that the whole world has seen a dramatic increase in the cost of wholesale gas, which has put pressure on the energy industry. Wholesale gas prices have increased by 250% since January 2021 and rose by 70% in August alone, forcing several smaller energy companies to close.
How to save on energy bills
Of course there are things you can do to bring your energy bills down a bit. At the new eye-watering prices even a 10% reduction will be a huge help.
Thankfully, most of the help to bring down the cost to the consumers will be coming from the Government. Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced that Millions of households will receive £350 of government support to help protect them from rising energy costs.
"Right now, I know the number one issue on people's minds is the rising cost of living. That's why the Government is stepping in with direct support that will help around 28 million households with their rising energy costs over the next year. We stood behind British people and businesses throughout the pandemic and it’s right we continue to do that as our economy recovers in the months ahead."
If we're blessed with a decent spring/summer, that could take the edge off our gas and electric bills.
On the Money Saving Expert website from Martin lewis, they have lots of advice on how you can reduce how much money you pay for gas and electricity.
8 simple ways to save energy
- Be smarter about water.
- Buy efficient appliances.
- Install a new boiler.
- Install a smart thermostat.
- Invest in double glazing.
- Turn down your thermostat.
- Turn off standby appliances.
- Wash clothes at a lower temperature.
Should I Switch Energy Supplier?
Switching your energy supplier now just before prices rise might sound like a good idea but it's not. Unfortunately, better deals are simply not currently available. In fact, it's actually better to wait and see how high your electric and gas bills go once the new cap kicks in. Just keep a close eye on the prices before comparing energy prices across the market. When you do, it's best to check the Citizen's Advice's impartial energy price comparison tool before you use a commercial switching service.
Another thing to be aware of is that some energy firms may try and take advantage of consumers hunting for a better deal by offering you misleading 'Fixed Deal' which could actually have you paying even more in the long run.