Can energy bills increase before new price cap comes in October?

Customers have been warned they might see their direct debits raised before the new price cap comes into force

Big Zero Report 2022

Britons might be hit by increases related to their energy bills sooner than October when the new price cap will come into force.

It has been reported that it is “possible” for customers’ direct debits to increase ahead of a price cap rise.

A few days ago, the argument about the potential increase in direct debits before October was mentioned by Martin Lewis in an interview.

Back then, he said: “The formal announcement of the price cap will be toward the end of August. As soon as that happens, that will crystalise companies’ policies and they will start communicating to customers about a direct debit rise.

“A £100 direct debit will go to roughly £177; a £200 direct debit will go to roughly £350. People will be panicking, it will be desperate, they are already panicking right now.”

Yesterday, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Money Saving Expert Founder Martin Lewis said energy bills are a “national crisis on the scale we saw in the pandemic”.

Mr Lewis slammed Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak‘s energy bill support proposals. He said: “He (Rishi Sunak) needs to double the numbers (of the support), especially for the poorest. From £1,200 to £2,400 because the prediction, the increase has doubled the gap over where it was previously.

“With the Liz Truss case, tax cuts will not help the millions of the poorest in society who are making the choice between eating and heating.

“It will just not help them because they don’t pay tax. (…) The green levy is a sticking plaster on a gaping wound. It’s £150.”

An Energy UK spokesperson told ELN: “All customers’ direct debit amounts are reviewed periodically taking into account factors including estimated usage, their current tariff, debit/credit balances and recent meter reads.

“It is, therefore, possible some customers’ direct debits will change in advance of October.

“All suppliers must, however, ensure that direct debits are set correctly based on all relevant information available at the time of review and that they communicate any changes in a way that helps consumers understand their payments for energy.”

ELN contacted Ofgem for a comment.

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