Will the cold weather push up energy bills?
The average winter fuel bills are expected to be £60 more expensive because of the recent cold snap, with demand for gas recently hitting record levels as people keep their homes warm.
As well as causing havoc on the roads, the rail network and across communities, the recent snow has plunged the UK into sub-zero temperatures reaching as low as -22C.
It costs around £3 a day to heat a home, according to uSwitch.com, but during the ‘deep freeze’ this has risen to around £4 as households crank up the heating and keep it on for longer.
Concerns are mounting that many households will get a shock when their next energy bill hits the doormat – especially in light of the snow and freezing conditions previously seen in December.
“Many bill payers will have cranked up the heating in their homes and will soon be hit with unexpectedly high energy bills, an expensive way to top off this costly period,” says Scott Byrom, utilities manager at moneysupermarket.com.
uSwitch.com estimates that bills could increase by £60 if the cold snap continues. However, its energy expert Tom Lyon says reports that energy providers will put up their costs as a result of the bad weather are a “red herring”.
“Higher demand because of sub-zero temperatures and the current rationing of energy to certain businesses does not mean suppliers will need to increase household energy prices,” he explains.
“Hopefully this will reassure consumers, but our advice would be to think now about budgeting for an extra £60 for when the winter fuel bill drops through your letter box."
According to Gocompare.com, 41% of consumers haven't switched energy provider in the past 12 months – which means a whopping energy bill could be a wake-up call to hunting out a new deal.