THE average household energy bill in the UK is set to increase by at least £600 by the spring, energy and consumer groups have warned.

After soaring gas prices hit energy suppliers hard and saw many go under during 2021, experts have warned of runaway household bills in 2022.

The energy price cap is currently set at £1277 by Ofgem, but this is set to rise substantially in the new year.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson's Brexit promise to slash gas prices comes back to haunt him

The UK has elected to remain outside the EU Internal Energy Market, even though a considerable amount of the country’s energy needs are met by Europe. As a result, the UK has lost significant control over prices, losing the ability to participate in the energy auctions that determine the cost of fuel.

In October, the European Commission set out proposals to its 27 member countries advising on how to mitigate the impact of energy cost rises on the public.

The recommendations included adopting tax cuts and state aid, with options like bill payment deferrals or partial bill payments also floated.

According to EU officials, 20 member countries have already taken action to reduce the financial strain on households. For example, Italy and Portugal have both cut energy taxes and lowered the sales tax on household energy by half, from 21% to 10%.

But the UK Government has not implemented similar measures. Here are five times Brexiteers promised cheaper energy bills...

Boris Johnson 

The Prime Minister, as well as Vote Leave ally Michael Gove, promised in 2016 that gas bills would be slashed if voters backed Brexit.

Writing for The Sun ahead of the EU referendum, the Tory pair pledged "fuel bills will be lower for everyone” as they outlined plans to cut VAT on household energy payments.

Labour’s Gisela Stuart also signed the piece, which argues that leaving the EU will also boost wages and allow the UK to regain control of our borders.

It says: “We believe working people will be better off if we leave the EU.

“The NHS will be stronger, class sizes smaller, and taxes lower.

“We’ll have more money to spend on our priorities, wages will be higher and fuel bills will be lower.

“Leaving the EU is a great opportunity for us to take back control of our borders, our economy and our democracy.”

READ MORE: UK told to 'get a grip' as energy bills set to rise by up to 50 per cent

The Vote Leave chiefs said leaving the EU would allow Westminster to scrap a £2 billion per year tax on electricity prices. Gove and Johnson claimed they could fund this out of £11bn a year saved from Britain’s contributions to the European Commission.

Fast forward to 2021, and the 5% VAT rate on energy bills is still in place. The Treasury said earlier this year that there are "no plans" to cut it.

Johnson has blamed the current energy price increase on the pandemic, saying: "It’s like everybody going back to put the kettle on at the end of a TV programme, you’re seeing huge stresses on the world supply systems."

Nigel Farage

While he was Ukip leader, Farage said green initiatives like wind turbines are causing "massive economic damage" and that leaving the EU would lower energy prices.

The National:

Writing for The Independent in 2013, he added: "We need to scrap all the current green taxes and subsidy schemes from new projects.

"We need urgently to develop gas exploration and recovery here in the UK. We need an energy generation system based on proven, reliable, grown-up technologies: coal, gas and nuclear.

"But, of course, we can’t do these things as long as we’re bound by last-century thinking and regulation from Brussels."

Michael Gove

In May 2016, just one month before the country voted for Brexit, the Conservative minister appeared on Sky News where he was interviewed by Eamon Holmes.

During the interview, Gove claimed that if the country left the EU, the government would be able to remove VAT on fuel, saving money for the poorest families.

But British drivers now pay around £16 more than others in EU countries each time they fill up their fuel tanks.

An investigation by campaign group FairFuelUK found that on Christmas Eve, petrol in the UK cost £1.45 a litre, on average.

In comparison, that was 27p higher than in Austria, 21p pricier than in Spain and 14p higher than in Germany.

Gove claimed: “If we vote to leave the European Union, we can cut VAT on domestic fuel to zero and that would save households about £60 a year."

“Now, this is something we can only do if we leave the European Union. Once we’re in the EU at VAT’s slapped on any product, it can’t be taken off.

“But if we leave the EU, we can use the millions of pounds that we would save from being outside the EU to cut VAT on fuel, and that would help the poorest families most of all.”

Douglas Carswell

The former Tory and Ukip MP said in 2025 Brexit Britain's energy prices will "have fallen back to global levels".

In an article he wrote for Reaction in June 2016 titled "What Britain looks like after Brexit", he said: "It’s 24 June, 2025, and Britain is marking its annual Independence Day celebration.

"As the fireworks stream through the summer sky, still not quite dark, we wonder why it took us so long to leave. The years that followed the 2016 referendum didn’t just reinvigorate our economy, our democracy and our liberty. They improved relations with our neighbours.

"The United Kingdom is now the region’s foremost knowledge-based economy. We lead the world in biotech, law, education, the audio-visual sector, financial services and software.

"New industries, from 3D printing to driverless cars, have sprung up around the country. Older industries, too, have revived as energy prices have fallen back to global levels: steel, cement, paper, plastics and ceramics producers have become competitive again."

The National:

Jacob Rees-Mogg

The Tory MP claimed living standards will soar after Brexit and the prices of energy, food and clothing will go down.

He said Britain’s poorest citizens could see their disposable income rise “significantly” which will be good for the economy as a whole.

He told The Daily Express: "What Brexit should be about is ensuring the standards of living of the readers of the Daily Express et cetera, are high.

"How do we achieve that? We achieve that by shoring up our economy by allowing them to buy high quality food that is cheaper from other countries.

“So, to buy oranges from Florida, rather than oranges from Spain - that could potentially reduce people’s food costs by 20%.

“Where the tariffs are the highest is on clothing and footwear.

“These make up a disproportionate amount of the budgets of the poorest people in society. 

"If those come down in price significantly then the disposable income of the poorest in society rises significantly, which they can then spend on alternative consumer goods, they can invest, they can save. 

“Companies can invest more because the bank notes will be recirculated – it’s a really positive economic picture.”