Around three million households will benefit from a £19 saving on the average annual energy bill, thanks to a tightening of the price cap on pre-payment meters. The new cap, which applies to electricity costs, comes into effect from 1 October 2017 and will cut the average dual fuel bill from £1,067 to £1,048** (gas prices remain mostly unchanged).
The pre-payment limit was introduced in April 2017 and is reviewed every six months by industry regulator Ofgem , to ensure that customers don’t pay any more than they have to. Households that use a coin or token-operated meter are traditionally considered more vulnerable but, ironically, are less likely to benefit from competitive tariffs as there are fewer to choose from.
Not everyone who uses a pre-payment meter will see the same savings, as it ultimately depends on the existing tariff. Economy 7 customers, for example, will probably see smaller savings .
In the meantime, Ofgem also announced proposals to extend payment caps to vulnerable customers and not just those with pre-pay meters. These new plans will go through a consultation period before any final decisions are made, but any help will be welcomed in the light of rising fuel costs.
The announcement by British Gas that its electricity prices will rise from September 2017 was the latest price announcement, and it now means that all of the ‘big six’ energy firms have increased costs. But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with the price rises and hard-pressed households are taking back control and switching supplier. The savviest switchers are those in the south-east, where more than 12% of homes changed supplier in March 2018, saving an average of £184.15.*** So, why not see what you could save and comparethemarket.com