Monday, 17 December, 2012
By Martin Fagan
Office for Budget Responsibility factors a 5% increase into its inflation calculations for 2013
Tens of millions of Brits still reeling from the recent hikes in household energy prices should steel themselves for further rises in 2013, a government department warns.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), created in 2010 to provide independent and authoritative analysis of the UK’s public finances, says more energy price hikes in are inevitable next year.
All six of the UK’s major domestic energy suppliers raised their electricity and gas price by 6-11% in the final quarter of 2012, but the OBR forecasts theywill put them up again in early-2013.
The OBR said it expected the ‘big six’ to respond to higher oil and wholesale gas prices as well as increased costs associated with the government's green agenda and so is predicting another 5% rise in energy bills.
Chairman of the OBR, Robert Chote, told the Treasury Select Committee that families should be prepared for another “bigger than normal” increase in their energy bills by next winter.
Chris Eagle, energy expert at Energychoices.co.uk, said: “The measures outlined in the government’s energy bill are all designed to increase household energy bills for many years to come.
“And the increase to household bills because of the government’s green agenda doesn’t take into consideration the increases in wholesale energy prices, which will push bills up even further.
“Anyone who’s worried about rising energy prices should switch to one of the fixed-rate deals out there at the moment, some which fix prices until the summer of 2014. That way you avoid any price increases for the next two winters.”