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Flitwick
Saturday, 16 October 2021

Rising gas prices – protections for consumers

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Households are understandably concerned about the rising cost of wholesale global gas this autumn and winter, which is why the government said that protecting consumers is its top priority.

It said that rising gas prices is a global problem, reflecting an increased demand across the world for gas as economies around the world reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether billpayers notice the spike in gas prices will depend on when they negotiated their energy tariff and who the supplier is.

Many energy suppliers purchase much of their wholesale supplies many months in advance, giving protection to them and their customers from short-term price rises.

The government said it is working closely with energy stakeholders to discuss the impact of the increased wholesale gas prices, but consumers should not worry about their energy supply.

If a supplier leaves the market, there is a process in place to ensure that customers’ electricity and gas will stay on. The energy regulator Ofgem will find another supplier to provide the energy and any credit balance will move with the billpayer.

If your supplier does close, the advice is not to try to switch to a new supplier, but to wait until Ofgem appoints a new suppler to take over the accounts.

This will result in a new arrangement with the new supplier, but the government said billpayers can speak to the replacement suppliers about negotiating a new fixed rate tariff.

If you are in financial distress during this time you can also talk to your energy supplier, who will be able to discuss personal circumstances and consider options to help.

Including reassessing, reducing or pausing payments. Emergency measures have been agreed between government and energy suppliers to support those most in need during the disruption caused by COVID-19, and this agreement remains in place this winter.

For support with your rights on energy, more information is available from Ofgem.

For further advice, consumers can also contact Citizens Advice.

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John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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