Energy bosses warn bills will stay high this winter

Tarrifs are expected to go up again in the New Year (PA Wire)
Tarrifs are expected to go up again in the New Year (PA Wire)

Homeowners have been warned they still face rising energy bills this winter and will need to redouble their efforts this winter to keep heating costs down over the cold months ahead.

The cost of living crisis combined with rocketing gas, oil and electricity costs forced millions to turn the thermostat down or off altogether last winter, which was a relatively mild one.

Energy bosses fear a colder than average winter will leave many vulnerable families unable to heat their homes as much as they need to.

The co-founder of one firm, smart thermostat maker tado said four out of five customers turned their heating down last winter. Energy prices have come down from their historic peaks this year following the extraordinary spike that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but they are expected to stay at elevated levels until the end of 2024.

The next resetting of the energy cap later this month is forecast to result in a 3.5% rise in tarrifs from January, lifting the average bill to almost £1900.

Dr Craig Lowery, principal consultant at energy experts Cornwall Insight, said: “Our predictions for 2024 show prices continuing to languish well above pre-pandemic prices - something which is currently forecast to remain the case for the remainder of the decade.”

Christian Deilmann, tado’s chief product officer and co-founder, said: “Last year’s price shocks really focussed people’s minds about their household bills and tado customers told us that was the main reason they were more careful about managing their energy usage.

“There is now a danger this winter that people will be complacent but energy prices actually remain very high.”

Top tips on saving heating costs this winter include making sure temperatures are lowered at night or when no one is home; investing in programmable thermostats is worth it; sealing doors and windows; investing in thermal insulation should be checked for gaps and then repaired if necessary, and closing doors within the house to prevent air in warmer rooms leaking into cooler rooms.