Energy Bills: Britons could face £145 utility cost rise this winter due to lockdown impact | Personal Finance | Finance

Energy bills break down the charges households incur for using utilities around the home each year. Suppliers usually send energy bills out to their customers either monthly or quarterly, so meeting the bill is a frequent financial commitment. However, according to research undertaken by, many households will be forced to confront an unexpected rise this winter.

A rise in the usage of utilities due to more people working from home than ever before due to the impacts of COVID-19 has been revealed as the primary reason for an energy bill increase.

Indeed, an increase is also likely to be faced by households who do not have a smart meter, or do not receive a meter reading manually from their supplier.

As a result, an unforeseen debt balance of £145 typically to date will be faced.

More than 2,000 people were asked about their recent energy use, with domestic usage figures also taken into account. 

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“Many people pay their energy bills by direct debit, set up when they first opened their account.

“However, if their meter reading is out of date, they could be in for a substantial shock when this is finally updated to reflect their actual usage.

“As such, we highly recommend that energy customers take a reading of their gas and electric meters now.”

However, for those looking for ways to better manage their utility bills, there are particular actions which can be taken.

Of course, cutting down on usage is the first option many households will turn to, but there are also other options on the table. 

According to the Energy Saving Trust, reducing room temperatures by just one Celsius can cut heating bills by up to an average of £75 a year.

The use of energy efficient appliances when making a purchase could significantly reduce running costs.

Making a home more eco-friendly in this way is likely to lead to savings in the long run as the home becomes more efficient. 

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And according to Ofgem, the average household can save £300 per year by switching gas and electricity supplier.

Also offered by the government is the Warm Home Discount Scheme offered by a number of prominent energy suppliers

The government states: “You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2020 to 2021 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.

“The money is not paid to you – it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March.”

To qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme, a person must either get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit, or be on a low income and meet their energy supplier’s criteria.

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