Why heating your home this winter may be even harder than last year
(The Conversation, 20 Oct 2023) Domestic energy prices more than doubled during 2022 compared with the year before. This meant that the number of UK households in fuel poverty who could not afford to heat their homes to a safe level rose from 4.5 million to 7.3 million.
The UK government attempted to alleviate the impact of rocketing bills with a package of support measures. This included capping the unit cost of electricity and gas, a £400 rebate to all households using mains gas for heating and £200 for those using alternative fuels, and a further £650 “cost of living payment” to claimants of means-tested benefits.
Many of these schemes ended in spring 2023. And with wholesale gas costs and the government’s energy price cap having come down somewhat, you could be forgiven for thinking that the worst of the energy crisis has passed.
But that’s not the case for many billpayers – in fact, this winter is likely to be worse than the last for many households.
The energy price cap, introduced in 2019 by market regulator Ofgem, limits how much people pay for each unit of gas and electricity. The latest price cap, set on October 1 2023, means that a typical household will pay £1,834 a year for energy – less than £2,000 for the first time in 18 months.