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Don't be fooled by the energy price cap!

Patrick Christys
Aug 7, 2019

Don't be fooled by the energy price cap - you're probably still being ripped off.

Energy firms try to treat us all like magpies: "Here's a shiny new offer! Go on! Take it!" They don't want you to look beyond it, to see that they're still robbing you blind.

Well, don't say we didn't warn you at A Spokesman Said - there are potentially hundreds of cheaper tariffs out there than the big firms would have you believe.


While the price of energy is set to fall for millions of British households this October after the regulator, Ofgem, lowered price caps, there are still better deals to be had.

Ofgem sets maximum prices that can be charged for gas and electricity to those who have not switched suppliers and are on default tariffs.

The new cap could see these households typically pay £75 less a year.

However, bills will still be higher than they were in January when the first price cap came into force.

And Stephen Murray, energy expert at MoneySuperMarket, warned that the new cap for a standard variable and default tariff is still higher than the £1,137 level set back January.

He added: "Crucially, there are more than 100 cheaper tariffs available to consumers in the market today.

"That means someone switching today could secure a deal that delivers three times the saving the price cap offers, while protecting themselves from this rollercoaster of price fluctuations every six months. It's a no-brainer."

Ofgem boss Dermot Nolan said: "The price caps require suppliers to pass on any savings to customers when their cost to supply electricity and gas falls.

"This means the energy bills of around 15 million customers on default deals or pre-payment meters will fall this winter to reflect the reduction in cost of the wholesale energy."


About 11 million households are on default, or standard variable tariffs, and are set to be affected. Such a household, which uses a typical amount of energy and pays the bill by direct debit, should now expect to pay £1,179 a year.

You could save hundreds of pounds by shopping around for a better deal.

Another four million people are on pre-payment meters, so pay for their energy in advance. The price cap will fall on their tariffs too, with the typical customer paying £1,217 per year, down £25 from the previous cap level.

How do these caps work?

Energy price capping, brought in under Theresa May, is designed to protect the vulnerable and those who have stayed loyal to their energy supplier.

From next year, Ofgem will set the cap twice a year for households in England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland has a separate energy regulator and its own price cap.

The regulator sets a cap on the unit price of energy for electricity and gas, and a maximum standing charge.

Energy companies are not allowed to charge default tariffs that are higher than these thresholds.


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