Customers out of pocket due to Britain’s broken energy system

The average household has spent £2,500 more on energy bills since April 2021 than they would have done had prices remained stable. [1]

The data takes into account the Government support schemes that were set up to help households and means that, across the whole country, the additional spend by households on energy over the last three years totals more than £72bn.

The new figures calculated by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition come as Ofgem has lowered the price cap for domestic energy bills by 7%. However, the new cap level means that gas and electricity costs remain 50% higher than in 2021 and are predicted to increase again from 1 October according to expert forecasters. [2] 

Recent research by Ipsos found that a third of people expect their disposable income to fall even further over the next year, while the Stop The Squeeze campaign has claimed that fewer than one in ten of the public feel that the cost of living crisis is over. 

Meanwhile, the head of the energy regulator told MPs on the Energy Security and Net Zero Committee that prices “are still significantly higher than they were before, and when we look further out our best estimate is that prices are going to stay high and volatile over time.”

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented:

“Years of staggering energy bills have taken their toll and we now know the true cost of the crisis. Customers are £2,500 out of pocket because of Britain’s broken energy system, people are turning to loan sharks to pay their energy bills, millions of people are living in cold damp homes and many are experiencing a mental health crisis driven by high bills.  

“The next Government will need to act quickly after the election to end energy debt, protect households from the energy market, bring down bills for good, improve housing standards and make Britain a clean energy superpower.”

Warm This Winter campaign spokesperson Fiona Waters commented:

“Even with today’s price cap reduction, people will still be paying 50 percent more than they were three years ago for gas and electricity.

“They are simply fed up with being ripped off and used as cash machines by the energy industry that week after week announces billions in profits. People want to see investment in a fairer system, especially during these times of global uncertainty when there could easily be another worldwide energy price shock.

“That’s why thousands have joined our Big Energy Credit Claim Back protest and political parties should listen.  Voters want to see our broken energy system mended with a shift to homegrown renewable energy and a proper insulation scheme which will both reduce bills and increase energy security by freeing us from volatile global gas prices.”


[1] £2,500 and £72bn figures calculated as below. Price cap at 30 March 2021 was £1,042 for the average household. All figures based on Ofgem data. Average household energy bill levels include the relevant Energy Price Guarantee and Energy Bills Support Scheme payments where appropriate (the £52bn net cost of those measures are also borne by the taxpayer). Cap data is based on the prevailing typical domestic consumption values at the time – as set by Ofgem.

Cap change date Average household energy bill (GBP) Amount above GBP1,042 per household weighted for the number of months in price cap period (e.g. annual amount above cap halved for periods starting 1-Apr-21, but then quartered for periods from 1-Apr-23) All households
01-Oct-20 £    1,042 Baseline   
01-Apr-21 £    1,138 £                                48  
01-Oct-21 £    1,277 £                              118  
01-Apr-22 £    1,971 £                              465  
01-Oct-22 £    2,100 £                              529  
01-Apr-23 £    2,500 £                              365  
01-Jul-23 £    2,074 £                              258  
01-Oct-23 £    1,834 £                              198  
01-Jan-24 £    1,928 £                              222  
01-Apr-24 £    1,690 £                              162  
01-Jul-24 £    1,568 £                              132
TOTAL     £                           2,495 £  72,340,500,000

[2] End Fuel Poverty Coalition records based on Ofgem price cap announcements and (in italics) Cornwall Insight predictions (last checked 20 May 2024)

Cap change date Cap change (GBP) Average household energy bill (GBP) % change from last period YOY change Change from Pre-Energy Bill Crisis Change from Pre-Ukraine Invasion
Pre-cap   1067        
01-Oct-17 -19 1048 -1.78      
01-Apr-18 41 1089 3.91      
01-Oct-18 47 1136 4.31 8.40%    
01-Apr-19 117 1254 10.39      
01-Oct-19 -75 1179 -5.98 3.79%    
01-Apr-20 -17 1162 -1.44%      
01-Oct-20 -120 1042 -10.33% -11.62%    
01-Apr-21 96 1138 9.21%      
01-Oct-21 139 1277 12.21% 22.55% 22.55%  
01-Apr-22 693 1971 54.35%      
01-Oct-22 129 2100 6.54% 64.45% 101.54% 64.45%
01-Apr-23 400 2500 26.84%      
01-Jul-23 -426 2074 -17.04% 5.23% 99.04% 62.41%
01-Oct-23 -240 1,834 -11.57% -12.67% 76.01% 43.62%
01-Jan-24 94 1,928 5.13% -8.19% 85.03% 50.98%
01-Apr-24 -238 1,690 -12.34% -32.40% 62.19% 32.34%
01-Jul-24 -122 1,568 -7.22% -24.40% 59.48% 22.79%
01-Oct-24 71.83 1,631 4.61% -11.04% 56.57% 27.76%
01-Jan-25 2.76 1,634 0.17% -15.24% 56.83% 27.97%

Italics = Based on Cornwall Insight predictions