Households across Britain could face an even bigger shock than expected this winter after one of the country’s leading energy consultancies warned of a bigger rise in bills.
Cornwall Insight said the price cap for the average household could rise in January by £360 more than previously thought.
The news left “money-saving expert” Martin Lewis “sick”.
He tweeted: “This is awful” and urged his Twitter followers to share the news.
“People need to know what’s coming to see if they can prepare for it,” he said.
Cornwall Insight said bills could rise from the current record of £1,971 to £3,245 in October and then to £3,364 early next year.
It marks a sharp increase on Cornwall’s previous forecast as international gas prices remain stubbornly high.
In its previous forecast on June 22, the energy consultancy predicted bills of up to £2,981 in October and £3,003 in January.
The forecasts are based on what an average household will spend on gas and electricity over the course of a year.
The new predictions are grim and will put additional pressure on households already facing rising food costs amid the Cost of life crisis.
In April, energy bills rose 54% for the average household.
Dr Craig Lowrey of Cornwall Insight said: “There is still hope that the market will stabilize and pull back in time for the January high setting.
“However, with the announcement of the October cap just a month away, high wholesale prices are already ‘factored in’ to the figure, with little hope of relief from projected high energy bills. »
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Before leaving office, the former Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £15billion package to help with the rising cost of living.
He pledged up to £1,200 for the most vulnerable households.
But the price cap was £1,277 last winter, so if Cornwall’s January forecast is correct, households will find themselves nearly £900 worse off than they were before the crisis, even with maximum government assistance.
The consultancy said the energy market has become increasingly volatile amid uncertainty over the gas Russia sends to Europe, while recent strikes by Norwegian offshore workers have also pushed up prices. wholesale price.
Ultimately, these prices will be passed on to consumers.
“As things stand, energy consumers face the prospect of a very costly winter,” Cornwall said.