Energy bills to hit £5,300 as price cap forecast rockets AGAIN

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Close-up of flames on gas hob

HOUSEHOLDS have been warned energy bills could top £5,000 next year, according to experts.

The cost of an average family’s annual energy bill could reach nearly £5,300 from April if wholesale prices for gas and electricity do not fall soon.

The rise will add hundreds to people’s bills this winter.

Experts at the energy consultancy firm Auxilione predicted that the price cap on energy bills could reach £3,628 in October, from £1,971 today.

It could then rise again to £4,538 in January and peak at £5,277 in April.

This is the worst forecast yet for the millions of households set to face crippling bills this winter.

As it stands, the nightmare scenario would mean that an average household will spend £442 on energy in the month of April alone.

The energy price cap works by setting a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge for each unit of gas and electricity.

It’s not a cap on how much you can be charged for the energy that you use – so if you use more expect to pay more.

While the predictions are for grim reading, it’s important to recognise the figures may change.

The new prediction follows the news that some have some energy customers have already seen hikes to their direct debits now, to take into account the future price hikes.

It also comes only a day after ministers sat down with energy companies to discuss the costly winter ahead.

Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng met with energy company chiefs yesterday.

A Government source said “no option was off the table” as to how the firms’ colossal profits could be targeted to make bills fairer.

How to get help with your energy bills

While you can’t do anything to escape rising energy prices – energy suppliers do offer support for those who are struggling to pay their bills.

For example, there are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling, like the British Gas hardship fund which can lend you up to £1,500 free cash towards bills.

Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:

  • Bulb energy fund
  • EDF’s energy customer support fund
  • E.on’s energy fund
  • Npower’s energy fund
  • Ovo’s debt and energy assistance
  • Scottish Power’s hardship fund

There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.

If you don’t know who your supplier is, you can find out here.

Anyone getting the state pension should also get winter fuel payments worth £100s. Winter fuel payments are a tax-free payment that comes from the government each year and is worth between £100 and £300.

Councils are offering residents cash support through the Household Support Fund and Discretionary Fund scheme.

You may be eligible to get up to £300 in cash to help with the rising cost of living.

Eligibility for the cash can differ from council to council. So you’ll need to check what your local authority is offering.