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Cost-of-living crisis: UK households face worse winter amid rising energy bills

Households and businesses in Britain continue to pay high energy bills as the government scrapped the costly 2022 subsidies. (File photo)

Britain’s energy regulator has increased the maximum price suppliers can charge for a typical household’s annual gas and electricity use. 

The move is expected to fuel the cost-of-living crisis across the country.

Ofgem said in a Thursday statement bills will climb from January on rising wholesale energy prices, which have increased due to the war in Ukraine.

The annual amount suppliers are able to charge an average household consuming electricity and gas will increase to £1,928 ($2,418) from £1,834, the regulator said.

From January to March, the price cap will rise to £1,928 a year, which will determine the energy bills for most households.

“This is a difficult time for many people, and any increase in bills will be worrying,” Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said.

Consumer campaigners are increasingly critical of the Treasury for failing to put forward measures to help hard-pressed households pay energy bills or insulate their homes.

Ed Miliband, Labor’s shadow energy security secretary, said “While the out-of-touch chancellor tried to pretend yesterday that the cost of living crisis was over, these new figures show the truth: energy bills are rising again to an unaffordable level for millions of families.”

“Despite this, the government has absolutely no plan to get bills down, even admitting that their flagship energy bill will not lower bills by a penny. The Conservatives have no clue how to even try and bring down energy bills for British families.”

In recent years, the cost of variable tariff energy deals in England, Wales and Scotland has been controlled by the energy price cap, which is now set every three months. Energy prices soared after the war began in Ukraine in February 2022.

Households and businesses continue to pay high energy bills as the government scrapped the costly 2022 subsidies.

On Wednesday, the Office for Budget Responsibility warned Britons face a record drop in living standards in 2024-2025.

The BMJ Public Health journal published the results of a new study in September. It showed Britain’s cost-of-living crisis that mainly results from the government’s economic policy was set to cause premature deaths among thousands of people this year.

Millions of Britons are facing levels of inflation not seen since the 1970s as a result of the war in Ukraine, the Brexit and the government’s economic policy.

The new study came after the UK-based consumer association earlier warned that rising food prices had forced low-income households in the country to make “desperate choices” between keeping up their bills and putting food on the table.

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