By the Co-op Power team
We know you’ll be worried about what’s going on in the energy market. You’ll have seen in the media how household energy bills are rising. But why now and how will it impact me?
A perfect storm of factors over the past six months has meant rising wholesale energy prices are being passed onto consumers.
Political tensions in the Ukraine are causing less gas to flow into Europe and extreme weather conditions have shut down oil and gas plants reducing energy supplies. As we return to some degree of normality after COVID-19, a surge in energy demand has raised prices with the world seeing a supply and demand crisis causing pricing volatility.
How does it effect my energy provider?
Imagine your local Co-op store selling a tin of soup less than it buys it for. That’s why we’ve seen more than 30 energy providers go into liquidation, with some energy providers selling energy for less than they were buying it for.
With 60% of all energy companies exiting the market in the last five months, alternative providers must be found. But rest assured, as long as you keep paying you bills, you’ll continue receiving your gas and electricity supply.
What is the Energy Price Cap?
If you’re not on a discounted tariff, the government’s energy price cap sets a maximum value for how much a customer can be charged per unit of energy the use.
From 1 April 2022, this cap is being increased by 54%. So we can estimate you’ll have to pay half your bill again from April. This is forecast to see annual bills rise by an average of £693.
What can I do to reduce my bills?
Whilst Co-op Power only provides energy to other businesses and not domestic users like us, if we want to reduce our energy bills, we have to reduce how much we use.
One of our energy experts, James Turner, shared just five of the many simple ideas for how to reduce your household energy bills. Each small action adds up quickly:
- Fully load your washing machine and dishwasher – a full load uses less energy than two half loads and try and avoid using the tumble drier
- If you have a hot water tank, set the cylinder thermostat to 60-degrees Celsius
- Whilst it’s obvious, get into the habit of turning lights off in rooms you’re not using
- Only boil a kettle with the amount of water you need
- Close curtains and blinds when it gets starts to get dark to stop heat escaping through your windows
Is there any financial support?
On 3 February, the Government announced that households in England in council tax band A-D will receive a one-off £150 rebate from April 2022.
As well as this, you can ask your energy provider to help you with a review of your payments and agree a payment plan to help with your bills. The citizens advise bureau also have sound advice how to seek help with the energy crisis here at Your energy supply – Citizens Advice.
At the moment, no one knows whether the energy market will stablise or keep on rising. I know this is scary and for many of us we’re facing really tough decisions about where to spend our money and keep our families safe and healthy.
Although we’re not in the domestic market, we do keep very close to what’s going on. And we know it can be confusing and political. Because of this, Co-op Power will keep sharing updates and any tips to support you to reduce your bills and find further help.