Consumers are braced for the cost of their gas and electricity to rocket as the new energy price cap is set to be announced on Thursday.
At 11am, Ofgem will reveal the level of the energy price cap from April 1, 2022, with millions of households across the country expected to see their bills increase by hundreds of pounds.
The regulator has moved forward the announcement which had been scheduled for Monday, February 7.
The cap is predicted to rise by 49%, adding around £600 a year to an average household’s bills, with warnings that millions unable to heat or power their homes could be thrown into fuel poverty.
Reports say the Prime Minister and chancellor Rishi Sunak have approved a move to deliver a £200 rebate off households’ energy bills.
It will help offset at least some of the massive spike in energy costs caused by the increase in global gas prices.
The Bank of England will also set its interest rates on Thursday, which could see a rise in the cost of borrowing.
It follows the UK’s cost of living surging by 5.4% in the 12 months to December, the biggest jump for 30 years.
Scotland’s finance minister, along with her counterparts in Wales and Northern Ireland, united to demand action on the “cost of living crisis”.
As well as facing a jump in energy bills in April, national insurance is due to rise by 1.25 percentage points for workers and employers.
Conor Forbes, head of policy at Advice Direct Scotland, said: “People across Scotland are facing a sharp rise in the cost-of-living this year, with food bills rising and energy bills set to soar.
“This latest report and the looming announcement on the energy price cap will cause anxiety for many households, especially at a time when people are feeling the pinch and some face the devastating choice between heating and eating.
“The most important advice is to remember that you don’t have to struggle alone.
“At this difficult time for many, talking things through with an adviser can help.”
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