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Martin Lewis has warned consumers that they will not feel “any real benefit” despite energy prices being set to fall in the coming months.
The Money Saving Expert founder said that despite the predicted falls in gas and electricity charges, in practical terms people will not be much better off.
He pointed out that the price cap set by regulator Ofgem soared from £1,162 a year for a typical household in August 2021 to its current level of £3,280, having briefly gone as high as £4,279.
New forecasts by energy consultancy Cornwall Insight predict that Ofgem’s cap will fall to £2,054 in July, saving households an average of £446 a year.
However, The Independent warns that this remains well above pre-pandemic levels, and Cornwall Insight said these higher prices “may become the new normal” as it predicted the cap would remain at similar levels until at least January 2024.
Lewis was asked about the price cap changes expected to be announced on Thursday on BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg show.
He said: “In practical terms what you pay from July will drop by somewhere between 15 and 20 per cent – we’re pretty sure it’s in that ballpark.
“Then the next price cap comes in October. The current prediction – and the further out you go, the more crystal ball gazing it is – is that it will drop a little bit more and then go up a little bit in January, but still be roughly the same amount it is now.
“It is an improvement, [but] it’s not the biggest improvement.”
Lewis added that the government’s £400 support for every household during the winter came to an end in April.
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“In practical terms, people aren’t going to be feeling any real benefit,” he added.
“They’re going to be paying the same that they were over winter, and next winter will be as expensive as the winter just gone – which is over double what we always thought.”
The Independent said that Lewis also discussed the £300 standing charge most households pay for their gas and electricity supplies.
“We have monumental questions about consumer energy bills coming forward – they’re too expensive, they’re badly structured, there’s no competition in the marketplace,” he said.
“Clearly, the people who have been in charge have been asleep at the wheel for the past few years, and things need to change.”
Environment secretary Therese Coffey, appearing on the same programme, claimed that there is “considerable support” being given to households.
However, only those in receipt of means-tested benefits, pensioners and those with disabilities are currently set to receive further help with their energy bills in amounts of £900, £300 and £150 respectively.
Arguing that the £2,000 price cap is “unaffordable” for households living just above the threshold for the support, Lewis asked Coffey whether there would be any help for those people.
She said: “The chancellor set out our plans several months ago on what was happening there and I am conscious there is only a limited amount going to every bill payer.
“But I think that the critical thing that people will be expecting from the government is getting that electricity pipeline flowing within our own country rather than constantly being reliant on aspects of the link to the gas prices in the world.”
Lewis said the Energy Price Guarantee is set to end nine months earlier than predicted and has cost tens of billions of pounds less than predicted, meaning there is money available to help those on lower and middle incomes.
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