MILLIONS of households will end up paying up to £121 more towards their energy bills just because of where they live.
Households in North Wales, Cheshire and parts of Merseyside will pay the highest rates for their electricity this year, according to the BBC.
They will pay 2p more per kWh for electricity than the national average of 34p per kWh.
It means people living in these areas will end up forking out an additional £66 a year, compared to those that are charged closer to the national average annual bill of £2,500.
But households in some regions could end up paying less than the national average for each unit of energy used.
Customers living in North East England on a duel-fuel tariff that pay their energy bills by direct debit will pay £55 less than the national average over the next year.
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That's the cheapest unit cost households will be charged in any area.
It means those living in the priciest area of North Wales and Mersey are paying up to £121 more than those in the cheapest areas.
Households are paid different unit rates depending on their UK region because it costs energy suppliers and the National Grid a different amount to service different areas.
And according to Uswitch, there are three main reasons why energy prices are different across UK regions.
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Energy firms come under a limit on how much gas and electricity they can sell in any given region and this can cause prices to fluctuate.
The cost of energy sold by the National Grid varies in each region as well as how much the local energy distributors for the region charge suppliers for that energy – leading to fluctuating prices.
The PM Liz Truss first announced a freeze on energy bills for two years in a bumper cost of living support package first announced on September 8.
The new Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) came into force on October 1 and will save the average household £1,000 over the next year.
The EPG puts a cap on the wholesale cost of domestic gas and electricity for those on a standard variable tariff.
The cap should mean that the average household pays no more than £2,500 a year.
But the cap only limits the amount firms can charge customers for each unit of energy.
So if you use more energy than the average household – expect to pay more than £2,500 a year.
The average amount you'll pay will also depend on the way in which you pay your bills.
Those who do not pay their bill by direct debit and those on prepayment meters will pay more.
A typical household that doesn't pay their energy bill by direct debit will spend £2,740 on average over the next year.
A household with average usage on a prepayment meter will pay roughly £2,559 over the next 12.
The variation in costs relates to the different unit rates and standing charges that make up these three bill types.
How much more you'll pay by region
The average UK household will pay £2,500 a year if they pay their bill by direct debit under the following rates:
- 10.33p per kilowatt hour (p/kWh) for gas
- 34.04p/kWh for electricity
- A standing charge of 28.49p per day for gas
- A standing charge of 46.36p per day for electricity
However, the unit rates for gas and electricity vary depending on which of the 14 UK regions you reside in:
- Gas 10.24p per kWh
- Electricity 33.02p per kWh
- £43 less than the national average
- Gas 10.31p per kWh
- Electricity 35.06p per kWh
- Households pay the same as the national average
- Gas 10.51p per kWh
- Electricity 35.80p per kWh
- £24 more than the national average
- Gas 10.33p per kWh
- Electricity 33.73p per kWh
- £2 more than the national average
North Wales and Mersey
- Gas 10.34p per kWh
- Electricity 35.98p per kWh
- £66 more than the national average
North West England
- Gas 10.33p per kWh
- Electricity 33.48p per kWh
- £28 less than the UK national average
North East England
- Gas 10.20p per kWh
- Electricity 32.24p per kWh
- £55 less than the national average
- Gas 10.28p per kWh
- Electricity 33.07p per kWh
- £17 less than the national average
South East England
- Gas 10.30p per kWh
- Electricity 35.31p per kWh
- £19 more than the national average
- Gas 10.39p per kWh
- Electricity 33.97p per kWh
- £16 more than the national average
- Gas 10.46p per kWh
- Electricity 34.23p per kWh
- £14 more than the national average
- Gas 10.28p per kWh
- Electricity 33.76p per kWh
- £1 more than the national average
South West England
- Gas 10.43p per kWh
- Electricity 33.86p per kWh
- £29 more than the national average
- Gas 10.24p per kWh
- Electricity 33.03p per kWh
- £28 less than the national average
Standing charges also vary by region and you can check yours by looking at your most recent energy bill.
These figures don't relate to customers that pay on receipt of bills or those who have prepayment meters.
How can I cut my energy bills?
You could slash your energy bills by 7% a year if you flush out any sludge in your central heating system.
If you turn your boiler's flow temperature down as well as any thermostatic radiator valves in some rooms – you could save around £180 annually on your energy bills.
Topping up loft insulation and switching to a smart meter can bring a household a further £230 worth of annual savings, according to Nesta.
It is also important to ensure that when your boiler's running that there's no draught.
Ventilation is good for health and air quality but it's the first place where heat will escape.
If there's a draught, grab a draught excluder and plug the gap. You should also ensure your windows are closed before the sun sets.
It's also worth closing your curtains before it gets dark as the heat will then stay inside your home.
Another great way to ensure you save money is to turn off your boiler when you're not using the water.
Most boilers or thermostats have a setting to allow you to schedule when the heating turns on and off.
Consider what rooms in your home need heating. You won't be using each one 24/7 so make sure the heating is off in any rooms that aren't occupied.
What energy bill help is coming?
From October the first, all households will start to receive a £400 energy bill discount.
The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.
Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.
In November, a £300 one-off "Pensioner Cost of Living Payment" will be paid out to eight million households.
It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over the state pension age.
Millions of households are in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.
Check if you can get an energy grant
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you're struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it'll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
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The British Gas Energy Trust has previously paid struggling households up to £1,500 – and you don't need to be a British Gas customer to apply for this help.
Ask your supplier what's on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF's energy customer support fund
- E.on's energy fund
- Octopus Energy Octo Assist fund
- Ovo's debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power's hardship fund
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