Energy bills could increase ahead of the price cap rise in October, it has been announced.
The UK’s energy regulator, Ofgem, said it is “possible” for direct debits to go up before the cap rises.
It is being forecast that the price cap – designed to protect consumers from short-term changes – could reach over £3,600 in October.
In January 2023, the cap is expected to change again, increasing further to £4,266.
An Ofgem spokesperson explained that it is possible that direct debits could increase ahead of the price cap rising come October.
“Protecting consumers is our top priority and suppliers must ensure that direct debit payments are based on the best and most current information available to them,” they said.
“This includes information about the quantity of gas or electricity the supplier estimates has been or will be supplied.
“As regulator, we ensure suppliers set the rate fairly and take account of expected consumption, and we monitor this closely.”
The spokesperson said that Ofgem had completed a “robust” market review on direct debits to ensure they are being charged “properly and fairly”.
“Direct debits are usually charged in such a way that customers build up an appropriate credit during the warmer summer months when usage is lower so the amount they pay is evened out over the colder winter period where usage is higher,” they continued.
“It’s therefore possible for direct debits to increase ahead of a price cap rise or even when a customer’s use has remained constant.
“But consumers can ask for credit balances to be returned at any time and can contact their suppliers to change how their direct debit is spread so, for example, they pay for exactly what they used in that month and do not build up a credit ahead of winter.
“We recently completed a robust market review on debit debits to ensure they were being charged properly and fairly and took enforcement action as a result.”