Gas and electricity bills are likely to continue to rise in 2013 at above-inflation levels, according to the government’s forecasters the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR).
The announcement is unwelcome news for UK consumers, with all of the ‘big six’ energy providers announcing price rises of between 6-11% this year.
If you’re concerned about rising energy prices, use our energy price comparison tool, Which? Switch, to find the best deal on your gas and electricity.
Rising energy prices
The chairman of the OBR, Robert Chote, told a parliamentary select committee that the rise in prices next year will be ‘bigger than normal’, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Which? research has found that 85% of UK consumers are worried about the cost of energy.
Our quarterly consumer report, released in October 2012, also found that more than a third of households had dipped into their savings to cover monthly spending in the previous quarter, with 14% of those households using the money to pay for household bills.
Wholesale energy prices
The OBR did not put a precise figure on how much it expected energy prices to rise by, but said that above-inflation price rises were likely to continue until the end of 2013.
The major energy companies have blamed price rises on the cost of wholesale gas and electricity as well as the cost of mandatory government environmental and social schemes. The OBR said that these costs would likely remain consistent over the next year.