10% this coming January meaning households could be paying up to £50 more
It’s that time of the year again when we set up the Christmas lights, turn the heating on, and then come January, gasp at the numbers on the invoice! According to the Telegraph, energy prices are set to increase by 10% this coming January meaning households could be paying up to £50 more on their annual electricity bills . With the costs of gas companies must pay rising, it comes as no surprise that the Big Six are taking full advantage of justifying why energy prices are at a record high.
“Warm Home discount”
What does this mean for the most vulnerable who will be most affected this Christmas? An increase of 10% for those who are on pensions means they will lose out. Despite the government backed “Warm Home discount” scheme designed to help out the most in need, large energy firms are passing these potential savings back to the customer meaning they will still be forced to pay more . Some slightly redeeming news is that the State Pension is due to rise 2.5% in April of next year adding a modest £3.90 per week to the current payment . Not a lot of good if you want to put that towards paying the unscrupulous energy costs over the winter period. Shopping around is the common advice given online to getting the best deal, however expecting a disabled pensioner to quantify, measure and compare prices online is rather ambitious. Schemes designed to help the vulnerable are all very well but why should we need them in the first place?
The Big Six blame the rise in costs on the government’s environmental and social policies to which around 7% of an average bill goes towards paying . As soon as one company hikes up their prices, the others rapidly follow suit. This is not just a problem because of the state of the competitive market, it is a problem that energy prices are dictated to the UK from overseas. The government has also threatened to introduce a price cap therefore energy companies are reluctant to raise their prices until next year . It is expected that energy firms will wait and see just how cold this winter is before quantifying exactly how much the consumer will have to pay.
For those of us that have grandparents or elderly relatives, a couple of hours helping them to search for the best tariff will make a considerable difference all-be-it a laborious process. And make sure they make use of any scheme they are eligible for to assist with the costs this Christmas.
Don’t skimp on the heating as this is the season to be warm hearted as well as warm bodied. We wouldn’t skimp on our generosity to others so don’t put your health at risk and turn the heating on!
Blog by Harry Daulman, Green Energy Consultant at Maximus Green
 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/bills-and-utilities/gas-electric/falling-energy-prices-this-is-the-best-way-to-take-advantage/  http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/bills/article-3939980/Electricity-prices-rise-10-January-yes-ve-guessed-green-taxes-blame.html  https://www.ukpower.co.uk/home_energy/gas-electricity-for-disabled-customers  https://www.ukpower.co.uk/home_energy/future-gas-electricity-price-forecast  https://www.theguardian.com/money/2016/nov/29/state-pension-to-rise-by-25-in-april-2017  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/12096564/Energy-prices-Six-in-ten-elderly-people-skimp-on-heating-to-cut-winter-fuel-bills.html