Energy bills will pass a staggering £5,000 next year in the bleakest forecast yet for households struggling to make ends meet in the cost of living crisis.
Experts have predicted regulator Ofgem will be forced to increase the cap to £5,038 per year for the average household in the three months beginning next April.
This is more than £200 higher than previous predictions, and would place huge pressure on families to meet the surging costs.
Auxilione, an energy consultancy, also predicted bills would reach £4,467 in January.
The forecast comes after MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis warned energy prices have tipped the UK into a “national crisis on the scale of the pandemic” and mean “lives are at risk”.
As households use gas more during winter months, January’s forecast may worry bill-payers more than April’s higher number.
It would mean an average household will spend £571 on energy in the month of January.
The price cap on energy bills is calculated based on average household use. If you use less energy, then your bills will be lower.
The latest prediction is that the cost of gas will be capped at 18.02p per kilowatt hour and 70.34p per kWh of electricity.
The new prediction is based on today’s energy price on wholesale markets. The final price is calculated by tracking the wholesale price over several months.
It comes just hours before ministers are meant to sit down with energy companies to discuss the bleak winter ahead.
Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi and business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng are set to press Britain’s utility companies for a solution to the soaring bills.
Auxilione said there will be little the businesses can do, as gas prices are set internationally.
“Today the UK government has called energy companies in to try and find a way to bring down prices,” it said.
“It seems there is little appreciation just how impossible that task is and neither have control over this in such a globally influenced market.”
The government announced a sweeping package of support for households in May when bills were expected to peak at £2,800 in the October price cap.
Now that cap is expected to be £3,634, Auxilione said. Campaigners and energy companies have said that more support is needed, especially for the most vulnerable customers in society.
Experts say that by turning down the so-called flow temperature on your boiler and turning off the preheat function you can save hundreds of pounds at this winter’s prices.
There are guides on how to take these steps online. They only work for homes with condensing combi boilers and no hot water tank.
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