Ofgem raises energy cap, increasing prices for millions

Ofgem raises energy cap, increasing prices for millions Posted on 13th Feb 2019 by Ged Ennis

We recently posted right here on the blog about how energy prices are set to rise by 50% by 2020. It seems that we’re taking the first step on that journey already, as Ofgem, the UK’s energy regular, has raised the cap on the prices that energy prices are permitted to charge. The result is that millions of British households can expect to see a notable increase in the cost of energy from April 2019. Now, obviously this is not fantastic news to the vast majority of people, but with solar panels, energy security doesn’t have to be out of your reach! Before we get too deeply into that, though, let’s quickly cover what’s happening.

What are energy price caps and why are they being raised?

You may well already know this, but essentially – in a move instigated by the government, the UK regular Ofgem sets maximum gas and electricity prices that suppliers are allowed to charge to people who are a) loyal to their suppliers, and b) are on default tariffs. Energy suppliers aren’t allowed to exceed these price caps. The caps on these prices are now being raised in order to let suppliers cover the higher costs they have to deal with on the wholesale market. Notably, Ofgem’s taken care to reassure customers that they’re still protected from overcharges, and that the raised caps reflect the actual rise in costs. In other words, it’s not just so suppliers can squeeze a bit more money from their customers.

This reasoning may still not be much comfort to the 11 million households affected, who are on default (or standard variable) tariffs. One of these households – using a typical amount of energy – can now expect to have to pay about £1254 a year, which is around an extra £117 annually.

Meanwhile, about 4 million households are on prepayment meters. Their price caps will rise too. Now, the typical customer will have to pay about £1242 a year, which is a rise of £106. Not insignificant, whatever the reasons behind it!

Ofgem raises energy cap, increasing prices for millions

What can households do to protect themselves?

It’s important for us to reiterate here that Ofgem have said that customers that customers will still be protected from overcharging – it’s not a free-for-all! People can shop around for a cheaper fixed deal on their energy, which can help take the edge off the price rises. However, for long term solutions, solar panels provide a fantastic way for households to achieve almost total energy independence. In fact, it’s one of the core advantages of solar panels; essentially, it’s a limitless source of energy, generated right there at your home.

This liberates you from such heavy dependence on the National Grid, which in turn gives you a level of immunity from fluctuations in price – exactly like the kind that millions of households will find themselves dealing with from April onwards. That’s far from the only reason to choose residential solar panels, of course – others include their efficiency, their cost-savings and impeccable green credentials – but we often find that the ability to achieve energy security is more than enough for many homeowners!

Here at Low Carbon Energy, we’re proud to have over two decades of experience behind us in providing tailored, efficient solar PV solutions for businesses and homeowners alike. We also offer a number of ways to pay, so that our solutions are never out of reach. Give us a call today on 08456 808 963, and we’ll be happy to tell you more about how we can help!

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