Energy firms confirm new rates under the new price cap – see what your supplier will charge
Energy suppliers have now confirmed their new prices under the upcoming 1 April price cap. Most biggies, including British Gas, E.on and Scottish Power, have hiked their standard tariffs to the maximum allowed under the cap. Octopus is the outlier, pricing an average £50/year under the cap for existing customers, based on typical use. The new rates will mean huge bill increases for millions – see how your provider is changing prices below.
The hikes are all down to the energy regulator Ofgem raising the price cap on standard and default tariffs by 54% (see our Price cap guide for full info). The cap will be £1,971/year for a typical household from Friday 1 April, due to record wholesale energy prices, which are those that firms pay. The new price cap unit rates are, on average:
|Paying by monthly direct debit
Unit rate: 7.37p per kilowatt hour
Standing charge: 27.22p per day
|Unit rate: 7.36p per kilowatt hour
Standing charge: 37.28p per day
|Unit rate: 28.34p per kilowatt hour
Standing charge: 45.34p per day
|Unit rate: 28.11p per kilowatt hour
Standing charge: 50.27p per day
|Rates and standing charges (the fee you pay to cover the cost of supplying energy) are averages, which vary by region.
The majority of households are now on these standard tariffs – you'll be on one if you've never switched, your fixed deal ended and you didn't switch again, or if your provider went bust and you were moved across to a new supplier.
While there's little you can do to avoid the hikes, as there are no cheap deals available to switch to, see Martin's 'Is it time to fix?' video explainer if you pay by direct debit, and his prepayment 'top-up trick' video if you prepay for your energy.
How are energy suppliers' prices changing?
|- £1,921 (if you were on its standard tariff before 2 April)
- £1,969 (if you come off a fix from 2 April)
- £1,967 (on its standard tariff before 3 March)
- £2,015 (joining on prepay after 3 March)
|Outfox the Market
|£2,015 (via Ovo's Boost brand)
Note: This is its price if you take only energy. Utility Warehouse is a network marketing firm, which tends to push its other services. It will offer minor energy reductions if you take them, but watch that you don't pay over the odds for those extras (see our household bills guides to compare costs).
|Prices are averages based on Ofgem's annual typical usage figures of 12,000 kilowatt hours for gas and 2,900 kilowatt hours for electricity.
Note: The prices above are averages as actual gas and electricity unit rates and standing charges vary by region. Speak to your supplier to get the rates where you live, and your annual price based on your usage.
You can't switch to most of these deals – they're only for existing customers. There are no variable deals meaningfully cheaper than the price cap that you can switch to. And the cheapest fixed deal you can switch to on the open market is £3,200/year on typical use, which, at best guess, simply isn't worth it.
The key for many is what your existing firm will offer you. There have been a few short-lived deals recently from E.on and Octopus that people have grabbed where prices have been not substantially above the April price cap. And as prices are expected to rise substantially again in October, that is worth considering. See Martin's 'Is it time to fix?' video for full help.
Struggling to pay your energy bill? More help is available
The massive upcoming hike to the price cap will pile on the pressure for many households already struggling with rising costs.
If you're having issues paying for your gas and electricity, our new Struggling with energy bills? guide details all the help available. This includes when to speak to your provider, what grants and help schemes you may be able to access, how to get free energy and debt advice, and the freebies and grants that can improve your home's energy efficiency, plus more.
It's also worth seeing if you can use less to cut bills – our energy saving tips can help with the simpler stuff, such as turning your thermostat down and cutting shower time, while our Energy mythbusting guide looks at the less clear-cut questions, such as whether to leave the heating on low all day.
How does the energy price cap work?
The price cap sets a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge customers on standard tariffs for each unit of gas and electricity they use, and sets a maximum daily standing charge.
As the cap limits the price providers can charge for each unit of gas and electricity, if you use more energy, you'll pay more, use less and you'll pay less.
The price cap is currently reviewed twice a year, with changes coming into effect in April and October. However, Ofgem is currently consulting on changes to the price cap.