Energy bills horror: Eyewatering £6,500 price cap a ‘serious worry’ as fuel poverty looms

Energy bills rise is a 'world crisis' says Knight

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According to the latest forecast from Auxilione, an independent energy consultancy, the energy price cap (maximum annual tariff) could reach £6,552 by April 2023. This marks a £463 boost from previous forecasts, and it comes just before industry regulator Ofgem is set to announce an October price cap on Friday. The October price cap is expected to be around £3,500, according to analysts’ predictions, and is threatening to push millions of Britons into fuel poverty.

Already families have struggled with the soaring prices brought on by skyrocketing wholesale gas costs sparked by Russia’s war in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin’s supply squeeze.

But following the rise in October, which is already a staggering increase from the current level of £1,971, Auxilione says it will reach £5,066 in January, and then the £6,552 six months later.

Rocio Concha, Which? Director of Policy and Advocacy, said: “The prediction that average energy bills could skyrocket to £6,500 in April will cause serious worry and concern for people up and down the country.

“Millions of households will simply not be able to afford their energy bills without further financial support.

“The government must take urgent action to support individuals and families. Failure to act could mean countless more people are pushed into the impossible choice between heating or eating this winter.

“Businesses should also do everything in their power to make sure customers are getting a good deal and those facing serious financial hardship are protected.”

Auxilione said: “The nervousness of the market appears to increase day by day as we edge closer to winter delivery, now just five weeks away, and no big positive news on the horizon.”

The next Prime Minister, be it Foreign Secretary Liz Truss or former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, have been urged to intervene in a radical way.

And pressure piled on after Labour Leader Kier Starmer unveiled a plan to shield consumers from these worrying prices by freezing bills at just under £2,000.

The plan would cost just under £30billion on the assumption that it would apply for the next sixth months.

This move saw Mr Starmer storm ahead in the polls, perhaps a worry for Ms Truss, who is expected to beat the Mr Sunak in the leadership contest.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary has previously stated she would not provide “handouts” to households to cope with the crisis, instead pledging to impose a moratorium on the green levy on energy bills.

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This plan would only knock off £160, a drop in the ocean compared to the horror price cap expected to come into effect.

But as price warnings continue to appear more sinister, Ms Truss has now hinted at a “U-turn”, to quote Mr Sunak, and appears to be considering offering more immediate help to struggling households.

It comes after Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who has been tipped to become the next Chancellor under Ms Truss, assured that “help is coming”, adding that she “will do all she can to help households across Britain”.

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