Energy price cap – what it means for you

Our variable prices are changing from 1st October in line with Ofgem’s energy price cap. Here we explain why prices are going up, what we’re doing to help you and the options you have. We will email or write to all affected customers with more information over the next few days.

Frequently asked questions

What is the energy price cap?

The energy price cap is a set limit on how much we charge you for the energy you use. It was introduced in 2019 by Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator. The energy price cap is updated by Ofgem twice a year on 1st April and 1st October.

On 6 August 2021, Ofgem announced that the energy price cap from 1st October will increase. This increase is because wholesale energy prices have risen by 50% in the last 6 months. Wholesale prices make up around 40% – 60% of your energy bill.

How do I know if I’m affected by this price increase?

The energy price cap applies to variable tariffs. If you are on a fixed rate tariff with us, then your price will not increase during the term of your fixed contract. You can check what tariff you are on in your online account. We’ll also email or write to all affected customers giving full details of what this means for you.

How we’re helping our variable tariff customers

We understand that the price cap increase comes at a very expensive time of year for some of our customers. We want to help you through winter, so we’ll freeze your current Direct Debit payment. This means although the price of our variable tariffs will increase from 1st October, we’ll keep your current Direct Debit payment at the same amount through winter. If you’d like to change your Direct Debit payments to be in line with your new prices, then log in to your online account and choose ‘Manage Direct Debit’.

If you’re on one of our variable tariffs, you’ll shortly get an email or a letter if we don’t have an up-to-date email address for you. In this we’ll tell you:

  • What your current annual cost is
  • What we estimate your new annual cost will be
  • That we’re freezing your current Direct Debit amount, so you won’t pay us more over the winter months
  • How much you could save if you moved to a fixed rate tariff with us

Your letter or email will include details on how to switch to our fixed price tariff.

If my Direct Debit is going to be frozen, when will this end?

We will look at this again in future. If the wholesale costs are still increasing, then we’ll need to increase your Direct Debit payments. If this happens then we'll contact you to let you know and explain your options.

Can I increase my Direct Debit now?

If you’d like to change your Direct Debit payments to be in line with your new prices, then log in to your online account and choose ‘Manage Direct Debit’.

Can I change to a fixed tariff?

Switching to a fixed rate tariff could save you money and protect you from future price rises. You’ll also benefit from 100% renewable electricity at no additional cost. If you’re on our variable tariffs, in your email or letter we’ll explain how much you could save by changing to the Price Promise Sep 2022 tariff.

Your letter or email will include details on how to switch to our fixed price tariff. To get the special fixed rate tariff we offer in your communication, you’ll need to sign up by 30 September 2021. Once you've switched, you'll have 14 days to cancel if you change your mind. And by switching to this special tariff, we also promise to freeze you current direct debit payments to help you through the winter. More on what this means, see ‘How we’re helping our variable tariff customers'.

Can I switch suppliers?

We’d love you to stay with us but, if you decide to leave, you can switch supplier without paying any exit fees. If your new supplier lets us know by 29th October, you shouldn’t be affected by the price rise either. However, we can refuse your switch if you owe us money – unless you pay it within the following 30 working days. You can also switch between our tariffs at any time with no exit fees. But there might be terms and conditions and eligibility criteria.

Why are you increasing variable tariff prices?

Ofgem has set the current price cap to reflect the huge increase in wholesale prices. They have said they consider this a to be a fair price. Unfortunately, the increase in wholesale prices has been so significant that we have to increase our prices. We know a price rise is never welcome. That’s why we’re freezing Direct Debit payments for our variable customers over winter. We’re also making it really quick and easy to switch to a fixed tariff which helps protect you from future price rises.

Other ways we can help

We want to support our customers in difficult circumstances. Find out how we can provide extra help for customers that need it.

How do Ofgem decide the price caps?

Ofgem set their price caps by working out how much it costs energy suppliers like us to supply you with gas and electricity. These costs cover things like buying wholesale energy, maintaining supply pipes and wiring, and operating costs.

Visit www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-price-cap to find out how the industry regulator Ofgem limits energy costs – and why the cap can rise or fall.

Why has the price cap increased?

This increase is because wholesale energy prices have risen by 50% in the last 6 months. Wholesale prices make up around 40% – 60% of your energy bill.

Will the price caps change in the future?

Ofgem review their price caps twice a year. Any changes they make will take effect on 1st April and 1st October of each year. The price cap only affects variable tariffs. If you switch to a fixed price tariff you protect yourself from any price cap increases until your fixed price tariff comes to an end.

Where can I go for impartial advice?

Citizens Advice and Advice Direct Scotland are the official sources of free and independent energy advice and support. If you live in England or Wales go to www.citizensadvice.org.uk/energy If you live in Scotland go to www.energyadvice.scot