Most households are underestimating the massive increases in energy prices predicted for the coming months, and some even believe they will fall, new research shows.
Families think their household gas and electricity bills will rise by £487 from early October, despite experts predicting an increase of more than three times that amount, according to research commissioned by Uswitch.
According to the most recent forecasts, the bill for an average household will rise by around £1,600 to over £3,600.
Only about one in 13 people (8%) thought bills will rise by more than £1,500 – what experts predict.
More than a quarter of households said they do not know what will happen to the price ceiling on energy bills, according to the survey.
Meanwhile, 12% said they think it will decrease this winter.
Uswitch’s director of regulations, Richard Neudegg, said: “With the summer break in full swing, it’s not surprising that so many people have been unaware of the news of price cap changes.”
He has called on the government to act quickly to increase support for households, adding that households “need urgently to know that adequate financial support will be provided”.
This October’s price ceiling will be announced on August 26 by energy regulator Ofgem.
Current plans to ease the burden of the increase were announced in May, when the price cap was expected to be around £2,800 in October. It is now thought to be £800 higher than in October and could rise to £5,000 in April.
In May, the government announced £400 for each household, which will be paid in six installments. It also promised support of up to £1,200 for more vulnerable people.
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But Mr Neudegg said the promised £66 a month will “barely touch the sides” of the forecast surge over the winter.
As fear grows around the rising cost of living, pressure mounts on two Tory leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak to make detailed proposals.
Opinium researchers surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK online between July 19 and July 22. They weighted the sample to be politically and nationally representative.
They were asked: “Ofgem is going to revise the energy price cap again in August, to be implemented in October. What do you think will happen to the price of your Standard Variable Tariff after the revision in October?”.