HOUSEHOLDS have been warned they could face annual energy bills even higher than first feared.
Gas and electricity bills could reach nearly £5,500 by next Spring, if prices don’t drop in the next few months, experts have warned.
In May, the Government announced an energy costs support package – worth £400 per household – in response to predictions that bills would rise to £2,800 for the average household in October.
But experts at Energy consultancy Auxilione now say that bills are likely to rise to £4,650 in January and £5,456 by April.
The increase will add an extra £104 extra onto weekly bills – the latest kick in the teeth for struggling households.
Families are set to find out how much prices will go up by on August 26 when Ofgem announces the new energy price cap.
The change will come into force from October 1.
The exact change to the price cap is yet to be decided by the regulator.
The cap limits the per unit price of energy suppliers can charge, and means the typical dual fuel bill is currently £1,971 – though you can pay more or less depending on usage.
Ofgem has proposed reviewing the price cap more often than twice a year to smooth out increases over a longer period.
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After October it could see the next increase in January 2023 instead of April.
The estimates are based on the wholesale cost of energy which has shot up in recent months due to global supply issues and the war in Ukraine.
Now the latest forecast predicts bills will not start falling until July next year.
Experts believe it will first drop to £4,811 and then to £4,446 – more than 2.2 times the current level.
It comes as the Treasury is said to be drawing up another cost of living package for whoever enters No10 this autumn as the Conservative Party leadership race continues to heat up.
Liz Truss – the clear bookies’ favourite – promises to cushion the pain by reversing the National Insurance rise and wiping green levies off energy bills.
The Sun understands she will also consider targeted support for the poorest this winter despite previously saying she would end “handouts.”
Rishi Sunak, who has previously favoured those schemes, is instead thought to be continue his approach of more cash for the neediest, while also abolishing VAT on energy bills.
The Sun understands he has also drawn up an action plan to make sure Britain is tapped into reliable and affordable power supplies.
He would extend the windfall tax on oil and gas giants to fund the £29billion freeze, while also cancelling the £400 payment.