What does the October energy price cap rise mean for you?

The Eco Experts

The average home will pay £476 more over the next 12 months

That figure includes £400 of government support

79% of households will be affected

22 million households are set to see their energy bills increase by 6.5% in October 2022.

The government’s two-year Energy Price Guarantee means the typical three-bedroom home will pay £2,100 over the 12 months from October 2022.

The total would be £2,500, if not for the government’s Cost of Living Support Package, which will cut every household’s energy bills by £400 over the next six months.

Here’s what the latest hike in your energy prices means for you, and how to best deal with it.

woman looking upset while holding a piece of paper

How will the price cap rise affect you?

From October 2022 to March 2023, the average three-bedroom home’s monthly energy bill will be £141.

That’s £23 cheaper than it is now – but once the Cost of Living Support Package ends in March, the average household will pay £208 per month, until October 2024.

From October 2022 to March 2023, small homes with one or two bedrooms will pay £68 per month on average, rising to £134 per month from April 2023 onwards.

Large houses with four or more bedrooms will typically pay £234 per month, which will increase to £301 per month from April 2023.

Despite the government’s support package, the average home’s monthly energy bill for October 2022 will still be £35 more than it was in October 2021.

Electricity is currently three times more expensive than gas, which means homes that rely on various appliances – such as heat pumps or electric combi boilers – will endure higher bills.

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Average monthly bill
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Average monthly bill
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Is there any government help available?

Yes, the government is set to help homes with their soaring energy bills, through the Cost of Living Support package.

This package will give all households in England, Scotland, and Wales a grant of £400 to lessen the impact of the energy cap rise.

You don’t have to do anything to receive this funding; it’ll simply be taken off your energy bills over the course of six months, starting in October.

In addition, the lowest income households will receive £650 in two payments – one in July, and one that’s currently scheduled for the autumn.

To qualify, you must be on at least one of the following means-tested benefits:

  • Child Tax Credit
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit

All pensioners will also be given a one-off grant of £300. If you’ll be 66 or older on 25 September 2022, this should be automatically deducted from your energy bills.

And households containing people with disabilities will also get a one-off payment, to the tune of £150.

This will be available to anyone who receives at least one of the following benefits:

  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

The National Grid is also rolling out a scheme that will pay users for reducing their energy consumption at peak times.

How will this support affect your bills?

This government support will automatically be added to your energy bills from October 2022 to April 2023.

Without the support, your typical energy costs would be £1,248 over this six-month period. The £400 grant to all households means you’ll pay £848, on average.

This will be a relief to some – but it doesn’t take into the account the previous 54% price cap rise.

Is the government’s support enough?

The government’s support, combined with its Energy Price Guarantee, will save millions from entering fuel poverty.

You’ll pay a lot more, though. By October 2024, the average household will have parted with £4,590 – which is £648 more than that home would’ve paid previously.

You’ll pay £2,295 per year on average, which is 110% more than the average cost from October 2020 to October 2021.

And come April 2023, the support package will end, and the 27% rise from £1,971 to £2,500 will come into full effect.

Thanks to previous price cap rises, 6.5 million households already live in fuel poverty – which is when spending enough to properly heat your home puts you under the poverty line.

The government’s new plan is an improvement on its previous scheme – but it won’t stop thousands more homes entering fuel poverty.

How much will your gas bill increase by?

The average home will pay £112 per month for gas from October.

That’s a rise of £30 on your monthly gas bill.

The top price of gas will rise by 36%, from 7.43p per kWh to 10.3p per kWh though this will vary slightly with your location.

The daily standing charge cap will also go up, from 27.2p to 28.49p.

How much will your electricity bill increase by?

The typical household’s monthly electricity bill will be £96.

That’s an increase of £14 per month.

The top cost of electricity will soar by 17% to a new, record-breaking rate of 34p per kWh, though this will vary slightly with your location.

And the daily standing charge cap will go up from 45.34p to 46.36p.

How much more will your boiler cost to run?

Between October 2022 and April 2023, gas boiler running costs will rise from £422 to £670 for the average home.

In those six months, you’ll pay £248 more to use your boiler.

This is because the cost of gas will increase from 7.4p per kWh to 10.3p per kWh.

How about heat pumps?

Heat pumps use electricity, so their average running costs across this six-month period will also increase, from £566 to £618.

So if you own a heat pump, you’ll typically pay £52 more to use it.

This reflects the rise in the price of domestic electricity, from 28.3p per kWh to 34p per kWh.

Read our guide on air source heat pump costs for more information.

Will solar panels be more profitable to buy?

Yes, solar panels will absolutely be more profitable after the October 2022 price cap rise.

With electricity costing 34p per kWh, the average UK household with a new set of solar panels will break even in just 9.9 years.

Before April 2022, the cost of electricity was such that it would’ve taken 14.4 years to break even.

A typical three-bedroom house can now make an average overall profit of £8,302 by buying solar panels, as long as they use the Smart Export Guarantee.

Between October 2022 and April 2023 alone, they’ll cut their electricity bills by £274.

What can you do to reduce your bills?

Follow the 60% of UK residents who told our National Home Energy Survey that rising energy bills made them want to switch to green energy.

Solar panels are your best option. If you can afford their average £5,400 price tag and you use the Smart Export Guarantee, you’ll cut your electricity bills by 48% every month.

You could also quickly make your home more energy efficient – and insulation is a great place to start.

Roof and loft insulation can save you £347 per year from October 2022 onwards, cavity wall insulation can cut your costs by £388 per year, and solid wall insulation will reduce your bills by up to £531 per year, on average.

If you need cheaper solutions, there are plenty of options.

Using a dishwasher instead of washing up by hand will cut £187 from your energy bills over the next year, while turning the thermostat down a degree will save you £109.

If you’re still struggling to pay your energy bills, contact your supplier and tell them about your situation, as they may be able to reduce or suspend your payments.

For more energy-saving tips, read our guide on How to Prepare for the October Price Cap Rise.

Written by:
josh jackman
Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.
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