Last year, the energy industry saw a large increase in the price of wholesale gas and electricity, which meant that energy suppliers, including So Energy, needed to pay more for the energy we bought to supply your home. In response to these higher prices, the Government provided financial support packages to protect consumers from these rising prices. Although wholesale prices have recently started to decline, the price of supplied energy is set using market prices from the previous 3 months. So, the cap for April to June 2023 is based on wholesale prices between November 2022 and January 2023. Moreover, like most other energy suppliers, we purchase the energy we supply to you in advance, meaning that some of the energy required for April was bought last year when prices were higher.
We understand many customers are worried about energy bills this April, so we’re here to keep you informed about changes in the energy industry, how it affects you and what support we (and the Government) can offer.
What changes to my tariff will I see in April?We will be emailing all our customers whose rates will change, you don't need to do anything.
If you're on our So Flex variable tariff:
From 1 April, electricity customers’ So Flex variable tariff rates will be changing because the unit prices are subject to Ofgem’s price cap. Your specific unit rate will depend on which region you live in and how you pay for your energy - you can see the full list of rates by region and payment type for April to June 2023 on www.gov.uk.
Ofgem recently announced its price cap will be set at an annual level of £3,280 for a duel-fuel household with typical consumption. However, these prices are protected by the Government’s Energy Price Guarantee which sets the maximum annual price of gas and electricity. From 1 April until the end of June 2023, the Energy Price Guarantee will remain at £2,500 for households with typical energy consumption. Remember, this is a cap on prices, not bills. The Energy Price Guarantee will continue to be applied to your account, yet as the Guarantee is a discount off Ofgem's price cap, the majority of our So Flex customers will see a change to the unit rate paid.
For a typical So Flex customer on our standard tariff, they will pay at least £67 more each month, depending on where they live in the country as the Energy Bills Support Scheme is ending in April.
If you're on a fixed tariff:
Customers on one of our fixed tariffs will have set their rates at the beginning of their contract (which usually lasts for 12 months)/. This means that the rates paid for energy will stay the same (are fixed) for the duration of the contract. Bills are still subject to change; the more energy used, the higher the bill. Currently, we have no fixed tariffs cheaper than the Energy Price Guarantee, but you can register your interest here to be one of the first to know when we're selling fixed tariffs again.
Customers on a fixed rate tariff will see one of 3 changes to their account, depending on the price at which they fixed their energy rates.
- If you fixed your energy price at a very low rate, you are already paying less for your energy than the rate set by the Ofgem price cap and the Energy Price Guarantee. You’ll remain on this low rate and you won’t see a reduction in your bill.
- If you fixed at a price above the level set by the Energy Price Guarantee, your unit prices will be reduced, depending upon the region in which you live and your payment type.
- If you are one of a few customers who fixed their energy prices at a very high rate, you will receive the full unit rate Energy Price Guarantee discount. However, it’s important to remember that despite the full discount, you may still be paying above the Energy Price Guarantee rates.
All customers on So Flex and customers on some of our fixed tariffs can use our Energy Price Guarantee discount checker to see our projections of the new tariff rates and discounted prices. Please note that unit rates are discounted while standing charges are not.
Will my Direct Debit change?Your monthly fixed Direct Debit is the regular monthly payment you make towards the cost of your energy usage. On 1 April, the Energy Bills Support Scheme will end. Under this scheme, customers who have an electricity supply with us were credited between £66 and £67 a month from October 2022 to March 2023. The end of this scheme means all electricity customers will see a bill increase of at least £67.
Customers eligible for the Government's Energy Price Guarantee will continue to have this applied to their Direct Debits at the maintained level of £2,500, until the end of June 2023. Remember that your annual energy bills may be more or less than £2,500 if you use more or less energy.
We will continue our normal practice of reviewing customer accounts to make sure everyone is paying the right amount. Moreover, specific alterations to your payments will depend on which region you live in, how you pay for your energy and your account balance. If you’re in the course of our regular reviews and there are any changes to your monthly payment, we will reach out to you via email.
We endeavour to always offer our customers the best deal for their energy usage and provide support where we can when money is tight. If you're concerned you won't be able to pay, speak with us and we can work out a payment plan with you. Installing a smart meter is also an effective way to control and monitor your energy usage, and submitting regular meter readings helps us make your energy bills more accurate. Read our energy-saving tips and learn about the support we offer our customers.
Read about changes to your bills this April on our blog and the process of reviewing Direct Debits here. If you pay for your energy seasonally, this page will help explain how we calculate seasonal payments.
Why will most customers see a £67 increase in their bill?From 1 April, customers will see an increase in their bills as the Government’s financial support comes to an end. The Energy Bills Support Scheme discounted customers' electricity bills by £66 in October and November 2022 and £67 each month from December 2022 until March 2023. The Government will not continue to provide this discount to households from April, so all electricity customers will see a rise of at least £67 in their monthly bills.
However, this doesn't necessarily mean that your monthly payments will go up by at least £67 - this will all depend on your usage and current account balance.
Why are prices still high if the cost of gas is decreasing?A key factor in the rise in energy prices is that the Government is scaling back its financial support for households, including the end of the Energy Bills Support Scheme. Another reason is that the energy regulator, Ofgem, sets the price cap using wholesale energy prices from 3 months previously, so the new price cap that comes into effect on 1 April is based on market energy prices from between November 2022 and January 2023.
This blog provides more information on recent changes to the energy market and what this means for your bills.
Is the Government offering any support?From 1 April, the Government’s Energy Bills Support Scheme comes to an end and the Energy Price Guarantee will be maintained so that prices are set at an average of £2,500 per year for households with typical energy consumption – until the end of June 2023. This is a cap on the cost of each unit of gas or electricity a household uses, there is no discount on the daily standing charges. It’s important to remember the cap isn’t an absolute limit to your energy bills - it is a cap on the price per unit of electricity or gas. The more energy you use, the more you will pay, so your actual yearly bill could be greater or smaller than the Energy Price Guarantee.
You may find this blog helpful about the financial support available to customers struggling to pay.
Do I need to do anything on or before 1 April?You don’t need to do anything before 1 April, but if you’d like to adjust your payments, you have a few options.
- To help keep your monthly payments low, we recommend paying any outstanding balance on your account. You can do this by logging into your account and making a one-off payment.
- In the coming weeks, we will be reviewing the monthly payment amounts for all our customers and we will email you with any updates to your bills. We recommend waiting to hear from us before making any changes to your monthly payment amounts.
- If you would like to change your monthly payment amounts before receiving your Direct Debit review, you are welcome to adjust your Direct Debit amount through your online account.
- If you don’t have a smart meter, please continue to submit monthly meter reads via your online account. Regular meter readings help us to ensure your bills accurately reflect your usage (Not sure how to read your meter? Find out here. To learn how to submit a reading, click here.) If you have a smart meter, you don’t need to submit any meter readings - learn more about smart meters here.
If you provide 100% renewable energy, why is the energy you supply affected by the price cap?So Energy buys 100% renewable electricity. For every mwh (megawatt) of electricity we supply to you, we work with renewable generators to match that amount with a green certificate (or REGO).
The wholesale cost of energy is based on the blended prices of all sources of energy in the country, including wind, solar, coal, gas and nuclear. The price of energy is the same, no matter the origin and the cap on energy is based on the cost of all sources of energy.
On average, about two-thirds of the electricity from the grid is produced from renewable sources, while more than a third is powered by natural gas. Because gas is still needed in the mix to supply electricity to the country, the wholesale prices across the country are heavily influenced by the cost of generating from gas power stations.
Find out more about our energy.
How does April's price cap relate to Ofgem's price cap and the Energy Price Guarantee?The energy regulator, Ofgem, limits how much suppliers can charge customers on a Standard Variable Tariff to reflect changes in the wholesale energy market. This is set in arrears every 3 months. The next quarter falls at the beginning of April – hence the April price cap. The Energy Price Guarantee was introduced by the Government in October 2022 to protect customers from rising energy costs (and therefore the increased price cap). In October, the Guarantee set the maximum annual energy prices for customers at £2,500 so customers wouldn’t pay the annual energy price set by Ofgem (£4,279 in January 2023). From 1 April until the end of June 2023, the Guarantee will remain at £2,500 which is cheaper than Ofgem’s new, quarterly price cap of £3,280. Remember, that £2,500 isn’t a cap on how much your bills with be, the more energy you use the greater your bill.
Last updated: Fri, 17 Mar, 2023 at 9:25 AMPrint this page
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