Ofgem’s chief executive, Jonathan Brearley, has said he expects the energy price cap to rise from its present level of £1,971 a year for a typical household using both gas and electricity to about £2,800, an increase of 30 percent. This means some households could see their bills rising a further £800 this winter.
Families across the country are already being hit hard by the cost-of-living crisis after the price cap increased by 54 percent last month.
As energy bills rise, so do food prices and petrol costs. There are already concerns that families will have to choose between buying food and putting their heating on this winter, such as was the case last winter.
The Government is poised to announce plans to help with rising prices, with the Treasury likely to set additional measures to aid households following a cabinet meeting this morning.
A move could be announced as early as Thursday, May 26.
READ MORE: Brits should use ’empty lip balm’ to avoid being robbed on holiday
User @Gloria93231171 wrote: “And they still don’t get it. People have had enough of this. It is not working.”
User @JohnnyR1Red added: “I’m really starting to worry about the cost of living mate, it’s out of control.”
According to data gathered from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Ofgem, some areas of the UK have been hit harder than others by rising energy bills – and will suffer further following the 30 percent increase to the price cap.
A study conducted by comparison site Boiler Central analysed ONS data on the median estimated energy cost per year, as well as the median annual pay for each UK local authority.
As a result, the area’s annual energy bills would take up nearly 110 percent of the estimated monthly salary – the highest proportion of all the areas on the list – leaving residents needing to work almost 22 days just to cover energy costs for the year.
Back in April, Jo Wheeler, from Bangor, Gwynedd, was shocked when she found out how much her energy bill would cost. She wrote on Facebook at the time: “They really are funny, they didn’t think they’d needed to let me know that my monthly payments were over double, £139.98 more a month to be exact, and apparently I can’t change it to anything below £243.47, which is still over double.”
Jo added: “But what I can do is cancel the direct debit because it’s pay the poor people at British Gas or feed my kids. Please feel free to take me to court, you can’t have what I haven’t got!”
Eden in Cumbria is the area with the second highest number of working days needed to cover energy bills, at just under 21.
Soaring energy prices mean that residents are estimated to pay £1,626.24 this year for their bills. On an average yearly salary of £22,291, approximately £18,739 is taken home, meaning that the yearly energy bills take up just over 104 percent of a month’s salary.
Another Welsh county, Ceredigion, is the area where the third-highest number of working days will be needed to cover the costs of the new energy bills.
In the county, the average annual salary is £23,576, with an estimated take-home salary of £19,569.
This means the increased energy prices take up more than an entire month’s salary for the average resident living in the authority.
This equates to needing to accrue nearly 21 working days to cover the costs – almost 15 days more than Tower Hamlets, currently the UK’s cheapest local authority for energy bills at £651.42 per year.
Ceredigion has the second highest energy bills in the UK, with the increase driving prices up to £1,681.58 for the year.
A spokesperson for Boiler Central commented on the findings. They said: “The current energy crisis is understandably a cause for concern for millions of people in the UK, particularly in regions where it is clear residents are paying a disproportionate amount of their salaries to cover the cost of energy bills.”
The spokesperson went on to offer advice, adding: “If you are struggling to meet payments, start by speaking to your energy provider as soon as possible so you can work out an affordable payment plan – this is something providers must do in accordance with the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets.
“Furthermore, many energy providers offer schemes and grants whereby you can alleviate some of the strain of heating and energy costs.
“These work by helping make your home more energy-efficient, therefore reducing the outgoing costs you will likely have.”