Last week I received what I’m sure a lot of people dread to see these days – my new energy quote. I’ve been lucky up until now in that I’ve been on a fixed tariff since September 2020. My bill went up by £20 a month when I moved house, but I moved from a well-insulated new build into an older house that was built in the 1960’s, so I expected to pay a little more. But I don’t think any of us expected what’s happening in the energy market right now.
I currently pay £100.51 a month, which is amazing compared to what a lot of other people are currently paying. If I were to fix my prices for 12 months, Octopus Energy, my current provider, will fix the price at a ridiculous estimated £542.59 a month, which is around the same as what I pay for my mortgage.
If I switch to Loyal Octopus, a tariff that’s only available to customers who have been with them at least 8 months, it will go down to an estimated £519.12 a month. While a saving of £23.47 a month would normally be great if I was still paying £100.51 a month, it’s nothing when you get into these extremes.
Finally, I can switch to the variable rate, which will be an estimated £217.81 a month. Obviously, this is the one I’m going to go for, but it’s still over double what I’m paying now, and variable comes with its own downsides.
To be fair on Octopus Energy, they’re yet to announce what the prices will be now that the government has announced a cap of £2,500 a year for the typical family (and I like to think we use less energy than the typical family), so it will probably end up being a bit less than what they’ve quoted me. Still, it’s crazy expensive right now.
While these costs suck up a chunk of my disposable income, I can still afford it. But there are millions of people who won’t be able to afford a rise like this, even when all the help from the government is in place. How does an old person on state pension afford to keep their heating on when the prices are this high? Deaths in the older generation are surely going to go up. I’m just hoping that the winter will be mild, but any cold weather affects older people far more than someone my age.
While I’m glad the Tories have finally done something about this (let’s face it, it would have been political suicide for them to ignore it), there’s still a lot more they could be doing. Like a windfall tax on energy companies’ profits, or investing more in renewable energy rather than approving more oil drills as Liz Truss is gearing up to do. But Tories will be Tories.