London: Households across the UK have been warned they could face an annual energy bill in excess of 3,600 pounds ($4,401) this winter.
Energy consultant Cornwall Insight said a regular gas and electricity bill in England, Wales and Scotland could reach 3,615 pounds in the new year, which is hundreds of pounds more than previous predictions, reports dpa news agency.
In May, the British government announced an energy costs support package. worth 400 pounds per household. in response to predictions that bills would rise to 2,800 pounds for the average household in October.
Last month, Cornwall Insight predicted that annual energy bills would typically rise to 3,244 pounds from October and 3,363 pounds from January 2023, but circumstances have changed significantly since then.
The company told the BBC on Tuesday that such a bill is now likely to rise to 3,358 pounds from October and 3,615 pounds from January 2023.
Cornwall Insight’s principal consultant, Craig Lowrey, said surging gas prices and concerns about Russian supply had prompted the increase.
“However, while the rise in forecasts for October and January is a pressing concern, it is not only the level – but the duration – of the rises that makes these new forecasts so devastating,” he told the BBC.
“Given the current level of the wholesale price, this level of household energy bills currently shows little sign of abating into 2024.”
Lowrey joined other experts in saying government support will “only scratch the surface” for households.
Charity National Energy Action last month predicted that, should the average bill reach 3,250 pounds per year, 8.2 million UK households will be in fuel poverty, or one in three.