Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Bills will hit nearly £3,600 from October, experts say in final prediction

Families face a grim winter as experts predict the cap on energy bills will hit close to £3,600 per year from October – before rising again next year (Purple Marbles/Alamy/PA)
Families face a grim winter as experts predict the cap on energy bills will hit close to £3,600 per year from October – before rising again next year (Purple Marbles/Alamy/PA)

Families face a grim winter as experts predict the cap on energy bills will hit close to £3,600 per year from October – before rising again next year.

It is a forecast that will pile pressure on the Government to take rapid action, and spells out pain for more than 20 million households.

The observation window – when regulator Ofgem tracks the market to decide what the cap will be – slammed shut on Thursday, so the prediction is more certain than ever.

The regulator is set to announce the new price cap, which will come into effect from October, next Friday.

Auxilione, an energy consultancy, said its final prediction is that officials will set the cap at £3,576 per year for the average household.

The cap is currently £1,971.

The £3,576 marks a drop of £62 from Auxilione’s previous forecast and the first significant fall in the consultancy’s expectations for weeks.

The experts say a recent change from Ofgem is to thank for the lower forecast.

“Ofgem pointed out a potential change they are considering internally to remove around £100 from the cap (in an allowance).

“We’ve included it here, hence the reduction to the previous forecast.”

But despite this ray of light, most of the rest of the forecast contains pain for households.

“Today’s market hit yet again new highs so the rest of the price caps continue skywards,” the experts said.

Based on Thursday’s gas prices, they think the price cap will hit £4,704 next January and £5,856 in April.

It will then fall but remain at stomach-churning levels, hitting £5,235 in July and £5,235 next October.

The cap impacts how much a household pays per unit of gas or electricity they consume. It is not an overall cap, so families that use a lot of energy will have higher bills, and by cutting energy use people can save on their bills.

The pound figure, which Ofgem supplies, is based on what an average household uses in a year.

The forecast will provide ammunition to those demanding action from ministers to protect families from the pain of a cold winter.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats have suggested plans to freeze bills at the same level as now, while many of the biggest energy suppliers have backed a similar idea.

But the Government has made it clear it will not do anything substantial until a new prime minister is in office on September 5.

On Thursday, the trade body for energy companies called for more support on top of the £400 promised to households in May.

“Time is running very short ahead of October and we know many customers are already struggling after the last price rise – so the predicted increases will simply be unaffordable for millions of households,” said Dhara Vyas, Energy UK’s director of advocacy.

“Given the urgency, our industry believes the most practical way to help customers ahead of Christmas will be to increase the amount of support made through the existing bills support scheme.

“However, energy bills are set to remain high for the foreseeable future so it will be crucial to put something in place that will shield customers from these.

“A Government-backed loan scheme could help do just that by spreading the costs from an exceptionally volatile few months over a much longer period.”