Analysts say soaring unit prices of gas and electricity will push the average costs to almost £2,000 a year, extending three years of hardship.

Dr Craig Lowrey, of market intelligence firm Cornwall Insight, said: “An unstable wholesale energy market, coupled with the UK’s reliance on energy imports, makes it inevitable.

“This leaves households facing yet another winter with bills hundreds of pounds higher than pre-pandemic levels, and affordable fixed deals few and far between.

“The King’s Speech acknowledged that it is our exposure to volatile international energy markets that has led to higher and less predictable bills.”

Dr Lowrey, inset, added: “The only enduring solution lies in transitioning the UK away from the influence of global energy prices towards sustainable, domestically-sourced energy.”

Regulator Ofgem is tipped to reveal next week that its energy price cap for standard variable tariffs will rise to 28.94p per unit of electricity and 7.42p per unit of gas from the start of next year.

A typical household bill would go up from £1,834 a year to £1,931. Forecasts expect that to then drop to £1,853 from April, but not to below current levels until next July.

Cornwall Insight also tips standing charges to rise by 8p a day from April.

The firm said recent milder weather helped cut gas prices but it cautioned that “sharp price falls are not expected”.

Richard Neudegg, of comparison site, said: “This is a firm prediction that energy costs will rise by 5% for households on standard variable tariffs in January…the worst time of year for households, who will be using more energy at home.”

“Consumers on standard variable tariffs are particularly exposed to fluctuations in the wholesale energy market, as the price cap now changes every three months.”

Mr Neudegg added: “Fixed-rate deals remain the only way consumers can secure any certainty about what they will pay for energy for a year.

“Yet more still needs to be done by Ofgem to encourage suppliers to offer fixed deals more widely and at more competitive prices.”

The Government’s Energy Bill Support Scheme gave every household a £400 discount on utility charges last winter.

Discounts were applied to electricity bills for the six months from October 2022. It ended last March.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *