What to Know (and Do) About the UK's Rising Energy Costs

While it is expected that the new prime minister may allot extra funding to vulnerable populations, here's how you can prepare for rising costs now.

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British energy bills are on the rise, with the regulator sharing last month that they'll leap 80 percent to an average of £3,549 a year from October unless the government stepped in. Per Reuters, another increase may be likely in January as Russia moves to throttle European supplies.

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The government did announce this month that households and businesses are more protected under a new Energy Price Guarantee, which involves a price cap, but you may still end up paying more than you'd like to for energy.

This is concerning for business owners in the region, who are still recovering from the losses caused by pandemic-era lockdowns. While it is expected that the new prime minister may allot extra funding to vulnerable populations, here's how you can prepare for rising costs now.

Think twice before switching suppliers.

According to Money Helper, it's not wise to move to a new supplier if your fixed deal has recently ended, as "no fixed deals are being offered for less than the energy price cap at the moment." For customers in England, Scotland, and Wales, the government has announced an energy bill cap at £2,500 from 1 October, up from the current cap of £1,971. If you're on the standard variable rate, expect your energy bills to still go up.

Another reason you shouldn't switch is that because energy prices are so high, many heads of household and small-business owners will also be looking to jump to a new provider, which will double the headache of moving.

Look into governmental support.

Per Money Helper, you may be eligible for some government assistance. For instance, all domestic electricity customers can get £400 off their electricity bill starting in October, which can reduce some of the personal burden.

In addition to the cap announced this month, the government has also said there will be a fund available to those who don't benefit from it, but the details have yet to be announced. Stay up-to-date on the latest information coming from Ofgem.

Stay aware of what the new Energy Supply Taskforce is doing. Led by Madelaine McTernan, this taskforce has begun negotiations with domestic and international suppliers to agree on long-term contracts to reduce the prices they charge. The Taskforce and Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy will continue to negotiate, and you should be aware of their ongoing work and what it means for your business.

Continue to employ basic energy-saving methods.

This is a good time to refresh your memory on how you can be saving on energy bills not only at home, but in your business. Unplug mobile charges, turn off devices overnight, use energy-efficient bulbs, and take inventory of your tech devices. Anything that is unnecessary should be unplugged for the time being, or at least overnight.

Contact your gas and electricity suppliers about any discount clubs, flexible payment options, and tank repair services they may offer.