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Falling energy price cap doesn't mean warmer winter for many

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This coming winter will not feel any better than last as energy bills remain high despite the fall in energy price cap.

Energy bills will go down to £1,923 from £2,074 a year for the average household from October, under the new price cap announced by the energy regulator Ofgem.

But many will see little difference in what they pay as the £400 energy bill support from government ended last winter. There is also a rise to standing charges - a fee for connection to the energy supply.

The price change applies to those who pay via direct debit or a prepayment meter. But even for the four million households with prepayment meters, they will pay £26 more a year than direct debit customers from October. However, the biggest difference is for those who get a bill and pay every three months - known as standard credit - as they will pay £129 more a year than direct debit customers. These people are more likely to fall into arrears.

The cost-of-living crisis is far from over when combined with the rate of food price rises and housing costs. The fall in energy prices will still leave many households facing a tough winter.

So far this year around 44% of Debt Free Advice clients have energy bill debt, an increase of 5 percentage points from last year. And 1 in 4 are on pre-payment meters, reflecting the ongoing need for support.

Therefore, it’s essentials for the government to increase help for families during winter through social tariffs, or they could extend the Warm Home Discount scheme and broaden it out to more people.

If anyone is struggling to keep up with energy bills, seek help from free independent debt advice service as early as possible. Debt Free Advice is here to provide support – our team is available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm on 0800 808 5700

Debt Free Advice Managing Director, Matt Dronfield