Coronavirus: Latest restrictions to increase nation’s energy bill by £273m

Saleha Riaz
·2 min read
Young man with face mask against Christmas tree in Prague. Themes coronavirus pandemic during Christmas holiday and personal responsibility.
Previous research from the website found that five days of festive household mixing was set to cost the nation £171m in energy bills. However, the government’s latest rules will increase estimated costs by 160%. Photo: Getty

New rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus over the holidays will increase the UK’s total energy bill by £273m ($366m) to a total of £444m, a new report has found.

Research by energy supplier comparison website energyhelpine.com said the bill will go up drastically because previously three households were allowed to mix over five days during the holiday period, but this has now been reduced to one day in most parts of the country.

Previous research from the website found that five days of festive household mixing was set to cost the nation £171m in energy bills. However, the government’s latest rules will increase estimated costs by 160%.

READ MORE: Top tips: How to reduce the cost of Christmas energy bills

In response, energyhelpline.com has said those that use its service to switch energy suppliers before 3 January 2021 via will be able to claim up to £50 from the comparison site, which it said provides the equivalent of free energy for more than 13 days.

Tom Lyon, director of energy at energyhelpline.com, said: “Switching energy tariffs can save consumers up to £289 a year, but given energy use will be higher this festive season than usual, we wanted to do something to reduce the impact on consumers’ bills.”

Customers can receive £50 for a switching both their electricity and gas supplier over the internet, or £30 through the call centre. They can get £20 for a single gas or single electricity switch over the internet, or £15 through the call centre.

They will receive their cashback after the switch has gone live and been confirmed by the new supplier, which takes between 90 to 120 days.

On Christmas day alone, Brits collectively spend £42.6m on energy in the UK, according to cost forecasts from UKPower.co.uk. Experts at BestHeating shared their top tips for reducing the cost of Christmas energy bills, which includes choosing LED Christmas lights as they can reduce electricity consumption by around 90%.

Making sure there is nothing blocking the air flow from radiators, like furniture, and switching to a smart energy meter can also help.

Meanwhile, a report from October found that almost 3 million UK homes will enter winter in debt to their energy supplier, according to the latest winter energy debt research from comparison and switching service Uswitch.com.

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