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Energy bill price hike for millions of vulnerable families

Joanna Faith
Written By:
Joanna Faith

Five million vulnerable households will see their energy bills rise by £47 a year.

Energy regulator Ofgem is raising its safeguard tariff, which protects households from overpaying for their energy, from 1 October to £1,136.

It blamed the rise on higher wholesale gas and electricity costs.

Suppliers have to keep their prices below the level of the safeguard tariff, which was introduced in April 2017 for prepayment meter customers.

In February this year, Ofgem extended the safeguard tariff to protect one million more vulnerable customers who are on poor value standard variable tariffs and receive the government’s Warm Home Discount.

The regulator adjusts the level twice a year – in February and August.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive of Ofgem, said: “Around 5 million households, including some of the most vulnerable, remain better off and are no longer overcharged for their energy thanks to the safeguard tariff.

“Any price rise for customers is unfortunate. But while the level of the tariff will rise in October, these customers can be confident that this increase is justified and that their energy bill reflects the real cost of supplying gas and electricity. There are also better deals on the market for those who want to save even more money by switching.

“Ofgem is working to put in place price protection for 11 million more households on poor value deals so that everyone pays a fairer price for their energy.”