Five Questions About: Energy prices

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Are they going up again?

That's a given isn't it? Prices have climbed relentlessly in the past decade, almost doubling.

What's the excuse this time?

Domestic fuel prices will soar because of an impending "horrendous" gas supply crunch, according to energy regulator Ofgem.

What does that mean?

The country is, in the short term, going to be forced to buy more expensive energy from outside the UK before new nuclear and wind plants come on line before 2020.

So will that mean more people being forced into fuel poverty?

That looks very likely. But the Government appears to be trying to do something about the problem by pushing forward with proposals to make it easier for people to find cheaper energy. This week David Cameron promised that gas and electricity bills will become "more fair for everyone".

Is he forcing energy firms to cut profits?

No. But they will be restricted to offering no more than four core tariffs for each type of fuel and will have to inform customers what the cheapest deal available to them is via their bill. The theory is that the knowledge will encourage more people to switch to lower deals. The tariff simplification is expected to come in next winter.