Millions of UK households are set to experience a sharp rise of more than 50 percent in their gas and electricity bills in April.
Millions of UK households are set to experience a sharp rise of more than 50 percent in their gas and electricity bills in April, after energy regulator announced a record-breaking increase to its price cap.
Energy regulator Ofgem announced on Thursday that the new cap would rise to 1,971 pounds per year from April, meaning energy bills for the average household will increase by £693.
Ofgem added in its statement that it had no choice but to raise the cap, which covers around 22 million households, following record global gas prices last year.
Adding to the pressure on households, the Bank of England also announced a raise in interest rates, and said inflation would soon reach to more than 7%, leading to one of the biggest cost of living squeezes in recent decades.
Charities and economists estimate that the price rise would have a destructive effect, with low-income families unable to afford the prices and middle-income families forced to cut back on spending elsewhere, in order to provide their energy costs.
According to Charity National Energy Action, around six million households would be classified as in fuel poverty.
Jonathan Brearley, chief executive of Ofgem, says the price hike in the energy market is happening once in a 30-year event.
Meanwhile, the government has announced a council tax rebate to ease the pressure of rising bills on consumers, who also face high inflation and a tax rise. However, the energy sector responded critically to early reports of the plan, with the boss of supplier Ecotricity calling the measures "far too little, far too late".
Craig Lowrey at Cornwall Insight said the British governmentís plan was not a viable long-term solution.
"Without changes, we predict the winter cap will see payments rise to over 2,000 pounds a year for the average customer. Any tools intended to reduce the immediate impact of these record high prices will mean that they are ultimately borne over a longer period," he said.
Under the hard economic pressures in the UK, more than 25 energy suppliers collapsed during the last year.
Britain is highly dependent on gas imports, to provide proper energy for its residents. It comes, as the Kingdom is against the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project, which provides Europe with abundant gas resources.
The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is a vast network of offshore natural gas pipelines in Europe, running under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. Earlier in September, the construction of the pipeline was completed but it lays idle, awaiting regulatory approval from Berlin and Brussels.
European governments say the gas link is vital to secure Europeís energy supplies, with gas prices surging in the continent.
Benchmark wholesale European gas prices have fallen back from record peaks but are still more than 300 percent higher than this time last year.