North East homeowners to pay 85% more on energy chargeswritten by Bella Palmer
According to figures released by energy regulator Ofgem, residents in the region will be forced to pay 85% more from April when it comes to standing charges
Sharp rises in standing charges on standard electricity bills in the North East will see customers have to fork out three quarters more after energy contractors have warned homeowners it could be a ‘geographic lottery’ on where they live that will lead to increased bills.
According to figures released by energy regulator Ofgem, residents in the region will be forced to pay 85% more from April when it comes to standing charges.
All consumer bills include a standing charge; a fixed daily payment covering the costs of supply and other levies.
The regulator Ofgem caps them for consumers on standard default tariffs in England, Wales, and Scotland, although the cap varies by region.
Standing charges are not the biggest part of an energy bill, but they are set to rise by more than £71 a year on average in April.
Despite every part of the country rising, some MPs in the North East have accused the government of a ‘regional divide’ when it comes to energy prices, due to the disparity between the energy hike in the North, compared to those seen in the South.
In London, there will only be a 38% increase on the standing charges, which will see people pay an extra 8p per day, while the South East will only experience a 73% rise (17p per day extra).
In contrast, residents in Yorkshire will see a 21p increase (81% rise), Merseyside will see the biggest difference with a 102% increase (up 23p per day), and the North East will experience an 85% hike – up 21p per day to 46p.
Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, has called the North/South divide between charges ‘unwilling’ from the government, while he also criticised Chancellor Rishi Sunak for his Spring statement.
He said: Despite election pledges from the Conservatives to ‘level up’ the North and reduce the North/South divide, areas like Teesside and the North East are being clobbered by higher energy prices than other parts of the country and failed by a Government unwilling to take any real action to address the cost-of-living crisis that is already causing misery for millions of people.
The discrepancy is more galling given that Teesside imports a large amount of gas on any one day, he said.
He said: The Chancellor had a perfect opportunity to address this issue in his Spring Statement, but he chose to ignore it – and it’s the North that is suffering again from Conservative inaction.
Mary Kelly Foy, City of Durham MP, added that warm words from the government don’t heat homes.
She said: These figures illustrate in black and white the financial burden households are facing. Just last Friday I held a Cost-of-Living Advice Roadshow in Meadowfield and the guidance of Citizens Advice's Specialist Energy Team was unsurprisingly in high demand.
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