Britain’s energy regulator raises cap by almost £100 for millions of households, as markets wait for non-farm payrolls

7.52am GMT

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at Uswitch.com, says:

The price cap increase is an aftershock of last year’s lockdown, partly because many customers have struggled to pay their energy bills, plunging them into debt that suppliers have been unable to recover.

With more of us at home, usage remains high and energy costs hike, there’s a very real danger that the rising price cap will end up trapping households on default tariffs into a vicious circle of energy debt.

7.45am GMT

Peter Earl, head of energy at the price comparison site comparethemarket.com, is not impressed with Ofgem’s move. He has urged households to check their tariffs, saying that they could potentially save hundreds of pounds by switching supplier.

Raising energy costs for millions of households by an average of £96 is an extraordinary move in the current environment. It calls into question the whole point of a price cap which was designed to protect the most vulnerable households.

Many are already struggling with the financial impact of the pandemic – our research shows that nearly three out of 10 (29%) families with children at home struggle to pay their bills every week – and this announcement coincides with the shock of energy bills being received after a winter spent in lockdown.

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