There are concerns that despite Ofgem’s energy price cap fall this weekend that households could still be paying 13% more than last winter.
In August Ofgem said the cap on a unit of gas and electricity will be reduced for the average household bill from £2,074 to £1,923 in the three months from 1 October in UK.
Households are being told that the cap does not set an upper limit on actual bills and will therefore pay more or even less, depending on the amount of energy used.
Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley said: “This means there should be no excuses for suppliers not to be doing all they can to support their customers this winter, and to reinforce this we’ll be introducing a consumer code of conduct which we will look to have in place by winter.”
Simon Francis, coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, said: “From October 1, all households in every part of the country will pay more on energy standing charges, more into the profits of energy firms and many are more in debt to their suppliers.
“Average energy bills are still almost double what they were three years ago and Government help for households, which was available last winter, has been axed. This means this winter will feel worse for many households.
“If Members of Parliament on the House of Commons Energy Security Committee can see problems households will face, why can’t the Government?
“The MPs’ recent report on tackling the energy bills crisis sets out sensible recommendations to help vulnerable households and ministers need to implement these ideas immediately.”
Uswitch energy spokeswoman Natalie Mathie said: “Nearly a quarter of people say they’ll turn on the heating later this year to save money on energy bills, and it’s concerning that two million households plan to get through winter without heating.
“If you don’t want to turn the heating on yet, there are cost-effective alternatives for staying warm, like using a portable heater, hot water bottle, or electric blanket.
“There’s nothing worse than having your boiler break down when it’s freezing outside and every engineer is busy, so it makes sense to check your boiler is serviced now.”