Homeowners in Sefton and West Lancashire will need to take greater control over their bills in the coming months to avoid picking up an unfair share of the cost of lockdown, an energy industry insider warned.
With redundancy levels high and tough economic times predicted, experts believe gas and electricity companies will be looking to cover shortfall from bad debts by raising costs from loyal customers.
The Managing Director of energy-switching specialists Flipper, Barry Hayward, said: “It’s inevitable there will be a price to pay for the difficulties so many people have faced over the last year. It’s also inevitable that energy firms will pass this on to customers.
“It is the loyal customers who stick with the same energy provider who are likely to be hit hardest. Sadly, it is also those on the lowest incomes who are on Standard Variable Tariffs who will also pick up a disproportionate amount of the bill.
“Many companies have already told the staff they will be now at least part time working from home, which will increase the burden on home finances further.
“As the country emerges from lockdown, hopefully for the last time, there will be a re-setting of the energy market. This will be reflected in tariff changes and it will be more vital than ever that people ensure they are getting the best deal available to them.
Last Autumn prices bounced back to pre-Covid levels very quickly as people returned to work from home but the winter lockdown has changed the market once again.
“The picture of energy use has completely changed over the last year. There is greater demand at different times of day and with people working from home there has been a rise in domestic consumption and a slump in usage in offices and workplaces.
“These changes provide a happy hunting ground for those providers; householders need to keep a close eye on their bills, consider whether they are on the best deal and switch if it is the right thing to do.”