THE average household energy bill in the UK will rise by £94 a year from January, the UK's energy regulator has announced. 

Ofgem is raising its price cap from the current £1834 for a typical dual fuel household to £1928 from January 1. 

It states the increase is driven almost entirely by rising costs in the international wholesale energy market due to market instability and global events, particularly the conflict in Ukraine.

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said: “This is a difficult time for many people, and any increase in bills will be worrying.

“But this rise – around the levels we saw in August – is a result of the wholesale cost of gas and electricity rising, which needs to be reflected in the price that we all pay.

“It is important that customers are supported and we have made clear to suppliers that we expect them to identify and offer help to those who are struggling with bills.

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“We are also seeing the return of choice to the market, which is a positive sign and customers could benefit from shopping around, with a range of tariffs now available offering the security of a fixed rate or a more flexible deal that tracks below the price cap.

“People should weigh up all the information, seek independent advice from trusted sources and consider what is most important for them, whether that’s the lowest price or the security of a fixed deal.”

The energy price cap sets a limit on the maximum amount suppliers can charge households in Scotland, England and Wales for each unit of gas and electricity.

Energy in Northern Ireland is regulated separately.

The headline price cap figure is an average across households rather than an absolute cap on bills, so those that use more will pay more.

It signals that many people in the UK will feel little relief from the cost-of-living crisis, with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt making no mention of any further help from the UK Government to offset household energy bills in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement.

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SNP MP Dave Doogan (below) said it was "scandalous" that consumers in Scotland would have to pay more despite living in an energy rich country. 

“Households across Scotland will be waking up to the realisation that the Chancellor has, once again, let them down before a cold and harsh winter hits

“This latest forecast from Ofgem will now see household energy bills rise by a further 5%, meaning they will pay more this January than any winter before.

“That is why the SNP’s call for a £400 energy rebate was crucial in helping households through the winter – a call that was sadly ignored.

“Scotland is an energy rich country with an abundance of potential. It is therefore scandalous that our country remains fuel poor due to the economic mismanagement of Westminster

“Successive UK governments have exploited Scotland’s vast energy resources to bolster UK finances. It’s high-time they take responsibility and work with the Scottish Government to unlock Scotland’s enormous renewable energy potential.“

However, only with the full powers of independence can we chart our own course to green growth in a wider European market.

“Scotland has the energy – we just need the power.”

The National: The SNP MP Dave DooganThe SNP MP Dave Doogan (Image: House of Commons)

 Scottish Greens MSP Maggie Chapman said the increase would mean even more people forced to choose between heating and eating. 

“The decision to raise energy bills couldn’t come at a worse time for households and families already being stretched by this Tory cost of living - or cost of greed - crisis," she said.

“With winter starting to bite, people are once again being forced to choose between heating and eating, especially given the added financial burden of Christmas.

“Help is available for some of the most vulnerable people, and we would urge them to seek that out, but it is never enough.

“The most appalling thing about this is knowing Scotland is rich in renewable energy, yet the benefits aren’t helping lower bills because they remain tied to the fluctuations and unpredictability of the oil and gas markets because of decisions taken by this UK Government.

“Scottish Greens are doing all we can to mitigate this hardship. Without the powers of independence, we are limited in what we can do, but will continue to press for wholesale reform of the broken energy market.”

Gillian Cooper, director of energy at Citizens Advice, said: “Prices going up during the coldest part of the year will make life harder for millions of people already struggling to pay their bills.

“We’re already helping record numbers with energy debt and we’re seeing more people than ever who can’t afford to top up their prepayment meter.

“Yesterday, the Government missed the opportunity to announce extra support for households who desperately need it this winter.

“The lack of action means far too many households will now be forced to choose between heating and eating this winter.

“We urgently need the Government to honour its commitment to look at options for providing targeted financial support with energy bills from April 2024.”

Simon Francis, co-ordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said: “These price hikes come at the worst possible time for households.

“Bills will go up just as winter bites hard and household finances are hit further by Christmas credit cards, the long January pay period and the ongoing wider cost-of-living crisis.

“We warned Ofgem that a January price cap rise was a bad idea when the regulator consulted on this in 2022.

“Now the chilling effect of the change is being realised, the inhumanity of this policy is clear to see.

“It will be anything but a happy new year for people trapped in Britain’s broken energy system.”