Households will see the biggest rise in the cost of energy in living memory from Friday, when bills rise by 54%, or nearly £700, to just under £2,000 a year.
Experts have urged households to submit gas and electricity meter readings to their supplier on Thursday to show exactly how much energy they used before Ofgem’s price cap increased from 1 April.
This will prevent companies from estimating usage and possibly billing for energy used before April 1 at the higher rate.
Households should also send in regular meter readings, ideally on the same date each month, to avoid their provider gauging usage and possibly overcharging as they enter the summer months and use less. of heating.
Gillian Cooper, energy policy manager at Citizens Advice, said: ‘We recommend that you send meter readings to your supplier before the price cap rises on April 1. This means that your energy supplier will have an accurate picture of your consumption before higher rates take effect.
“If you’re having trouble paying your bill, talk to your energy supplier because they should help you. Citizens Advice can also provide you with free and independent assistance.
The energy price cap for those who pay by default and pay by direct debit increases by £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 from April 1.
Prepaid customers will see a bigger jump, with their price cap increasing by £708, from £1,309 to £2,017.
The regulator was forced to raise the cap on energy prices to a record £1,971 for a typical household as gas prices soared to all-time highs.
The National Energy Action (NEA) charity has warned that the cost of heating an average home has now doubled in 18 months, leaving 6.5million households unable to live in a warm, safe home across the UK United.
NEA Managing Director Adam Scorer said, “This is the biggest energy price shock in living memory.
“Millions of people will be deprived of adequate levels of heating and electricity. Despite all the anticipation of these price increases, many people on the lowest incomes will be crushed by the reality.
“The quality of life for millions of people will collapse. Warm houses, cooked meals, hot water, clean clothes – everything is cut or cut. The debt will skyrocket. Both physical and mental health will suffer.
“This energy crisis is about to hit hard those least able to cope. Charities like NEA will try to pick up the pieces for those who need them most. It will be an almost impossible task.
“Last week the UK government chose not to prioritize support for those on the lowest incomes. He crossed his fingers for the market to recover. This “wait-and-see” policy could cost lives next winter.
A spokeswoman for Ofgem said: “We know this increase will be extremely worrying for many people.
“The energy market has faced a huge challenge due to the unprecedented rise in global gas prices, a unique event in 30 years, and Ofgem’s role as energy regulator is ensure that, under the price cap, energy companies can only charge a fair price based on the real cost of supplying electricity and gas.
“Ofgem is working to stabilize the market and, in the longer term, to diversify our energy sources, which will help protect customers against similar price shocks in the future.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has pledged to ‘mitigate’ price rises, promising Britain’s 28million households will get an initial £200 rebate on their energy bills from October.
The government will provide the money for this, but they want the money back and will therefore raise bills by £40 a year over the next five years from 2023 to get their money back.
If all goes according to plan, wholesale energy prices will drop so that households can pay off what they owe, without major increases in bills.
Some energy company insiders worry that, while good in principle, the policy is too dependent on lower global gas prices.
But experts aren’t sure that will happen, at least not soon.
Goldman Sachs has previously warned that gas market prices are likely to remain at twice their usual levels through 2025.
Mr Sunak has also promised a £150 council tax rebate for homes in Bands A to D, which he says would cover around 80 per cent of homes in England.
He also pledged £144m to councils to support vulnerable people.