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Martin Lewis urges 'zombie Government' to 'wake up' as energy price cap predicted to rise to £4,266 a year

Millions of people are facing "unaffordable" energy bill rises from October, as the price cap is now predicted to rise from £1,971 a year to £3,582 a year for someone on typical use. A further 19% rise is expected in January 2023, taking typical bills to £4,266 a year, according to the latest forecast from energy analysts Cornwall Insight. founder Martin Lewis has today reiterated his warning that the "zombie Government" must "wake up" as intervention is needed. The news comes just weeks after Martin first urged Conservative Party leadership candidates to take immediate action to prevent a "national financial cataclysm". See our What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills guide if you need help. 

Regulator Ofgem confirmed last week that the price cap, which covers 24 million households in England, Scotland and Wales, will change every three months rather than every six months starting in October. It means households are likely to see prices rise twice this winter due to ongoing high wholesale energy costs (what firms pay), which largely determine the price cap.

Right now, there are no deals cheaper than price-capped standard tariffs, though there are some fixed deals that could be worth considering – see our updated 'Should you fix your energy deal?' analysis for full info.

Martin Lewis: 'This will leave many destitute'

Commenting on today's news on Twitter, Martin said:

Price cap timings and predictions – and what this means for your bills

The price cap doesn't set a maximum amount you'll pay, however. What it sets is a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge customers on standard tariffs for each unit of gas and electricity used, so if you use more, you'll pay more. It also sets a maximum daily standing charge – see our full Energy price cap guide for more info on how it works.

The table below shows the latest predictions on how the price cap will change over the next 12+ months:

Energy price cap timings 

Price cap period  Typical annual cost (1) Date announced Wholesale assessment period
Current price cap:
April 2022 to September 2022
£1,971 4 February 2022 1 August 2021 to 31 January 2022
October 2022 cap:
October to December 2022
Predicted at: 
26 August 2022 1 February 2022 to 18 August 2022
(Ofgem will apply certain weightings due to the longer wholesale price observation period)

January 2023 cap:

January to March 2023

Predicted at: 
24 November 2022 1 February 2022 to 16 November 2022 
(Ofgem will apply certain weightings due to the longer wholesale price observation period and shorter price cap period)
April 2023 cap: 
April to June 2023
Predicted at: 
27 February 2023  17 November 2022 to 17 February 2023
July 2023 cap:
July to September 2023
Predicted at: 
26 May 2023 20 February 2023 to 18 May 2023
October 2023 cap: 
October to December 2023
Predicted at: 
25 August 2023 19 May 2023 to 17 August 2023

This covers the price cap cycle until the end of 2023. A similar calculation is likely to be used from 2024. Predictions are from energy analyst Cornwall Insight. (1) Based on typical annual use for a dual-fuel household paying by direct debit.

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