Weston households could see £693 energy bill rise: How will it affect you?

Many older people have high energy bills.

Millions across the UK will see a 54 per cent rise in their energy bills. - Credit: Archant

Families across Weston face financial uncertainty following Ofgem's announcement that the average household faces a £693 bill hike.

The fuel regulator confirmed the energy price cap, the amount which energy companies can charge customers, would increase by a record 54 per cent to reflect an uptick in energy market prices in the last year.

As a result, 22 million homes across the UK, paying via direct debit, will face an average bill of £1,971 a year for their gas and electricity. 

Weston's Conservative MP, John Penrose, welcomed the Chancellor's later announcement that many of those households would receive £350 worth of support to help pay their bills.

Mr Penrose then asked Mr Sunak: "It is only a temporary set of solutions which will dull the initial economic pain without solving the long-term problem of sky-high energy prices.

"What conversations has he [Sunak] had with his colleague, the energy secretary, about solutions to deal with these long term problems and when can we expect to hear answers to those things to do with reforming the price cap, reforming the wholesale energy market and alike?"

The Chancellor confirmed that he had held discussions with both the energy secretary and Prime Minister to address the Weston MP's concerns and that they would be announced 'soon'.

The hike is the second to come within six months after a 12 per cent rise was seen in October 2021, both are likely to have pushed residents into fuel poverty - a term used when a household is pushed below the poverty line by housing costs and the energy bills needed to have a warm, well-lit home.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivering the summer economic update in a statement to the

Rishi Sunak's scheme to help those in fuel poverty has been criticised by Citizens Advice - Credit: PA

Most Read

In 2019, before the Covid pandemic, 10 per cent of residents in Weston were considered to be in fuel poverty by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS).

The DBEIS is expected to publish its fuel poverty figures for 2020 in April.

The scheme outlined by Chancellor Sunak is also expected to offer a rebate to help people save an extra £200, but only after the cap goes up by around £600-700.

However, it has still received criticism from the head of the Citizens Advice charity, who believes boosting the benefits system would better serve low-income families bracing themselves for rising energy bills.

Dame Clare Moriarty said: "This is a strange, complicated and untargeted package of measures.

"It provides some relief for all households come April, but for people on low incomes who need it most there are far easier ways for the government to deliver support.

"If the government is serious about helping families facing the desperate choice between heating and eating it should use the benefits system."