Ros Atkins on why energy bills are rising
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Customers of Octopus Energy will be able to save money when the new energy price cap kicks in on April 1. Although the loyalty tariff is only £50 a year lower, the company is currently the only provider offering under the cap. Customers, both old and new, on a Standard Variable tariff will get £2 off the price cap, so they’ll pay an average of £1,969 a year instead of the £1,971.
Loyal Octopus Energy customers can also get an additional £48 rebate via their electricity charges which is automatically calculated and applied every month.
This means they will pay £1,921 a year on average and £50 less than the price cap from April 2.
The price cap, which was introduced back in 2019, sets a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge for each unit of gas and electric used.
It is reviewed every six months, with the cap rising by 54 percent in April, adding on average £693 a year to the average household bill.
Ofgem said the rise was due to an increase in fixed network costs, an increase in policy costs as well as the cost of moving people whose firm went bust last year to new suppliers.
Rising energy bills have become one of the biggest concerns for Britons up and down the country and analysis by energy experts Boiler Central recently found Google searches for terms like “help with energy” and “can’t afford energy” rise in recent weeks.
Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy Group, said: “We’re gutted to be increasing prices like this, but with the cost of energy being up to five times higher than last year it’s absolutely unavoidable.
“We’ve already absorbed £100million of the costs on behalf of customers, and we’re choosing to absorb another £50million here by keeping costs for existing flexible tariff customers well below the cap, and much lower than any other large company.
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“We’re also doubling our financial assistance fund for those most in need, and we’ll do all we can to help customers through this.
“This includes increased investment in staff and systems to maintain the service level which makes us the only provider recommended by Which? and ensures there’s someone to speak to when customers need it.”
The company has already helped more than 30,000 customers who are struggling with their bills through its financial hardship fund, Octo Assist.
To help even more households in need, Octopus announced it would be doubling its fund from £2.5million to £5million.
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Octopus Energy has said it will be writing to customers with their individual figures.
Customers on the company’s standard variable tariffs who want to switch tariffs to fix their monthly prices can do this in a few easy steps in their Octopus Energy account.
For those wanting to do everything they can to keep down energy usage, Heating specialists at BestHeating, have shared top tips to prevent bills from soaring.
They said: “Turning down the heating may seem like an obvious way to save money on your bills, but try putting the thermostat down by one degree celsius to see how you feel, and if you’re fine, the heating was set too high.
“Many of us are guilty of putting the heating on too high and most are happy with a setting around 18 degrees celsius so doing this can save an estimated £80 or up to 10 percent on a fuel bill.
“The type of bulb you are using could be raising energy bills so switch to more economic ones to instantly lower costs.
“Lights with LED or CFL bulbs can save the average household an estimated £3 per bulb per year, so in a three-bedroomed property with two bathrooms that is as much as £30 without even using less electricity.
“Replacing all bulbs in your home to LED could even reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by up to 40kg a year.”
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