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Energy cap means “fairer” prices, but consumers should continue to shop around, says Citizens Advice

1 January 2019

As the energy price cap comes into force, Citizens Advice is reminding people that they should still be able to save money by shopping around and the cap doesn’t limit their total bill.

Commenting on today’s introduction of the cap, Gillian Guy, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:

“The introduction of this cap will put an end to suppliers exploiting loyal customers. However, while people on default tariffs should now be paying a fairer price for their energy, they will still be better off if they shop around.

“People can also make longer-term savings by improving the energy efficiency of their homes. Simple steps, such as better insulation or heating controls, are a good place to start.”

Citizens Advice price comparison site and supplier star rating

To support customers to save money on their energy bills, Citizens Advice provides an independent price comparison site and a customer service star rating which ranks suppliers’ customer service.

How does the cap work?

The cap limits the price people pay for each unit of energy that they use. It does not limit their total bill - they'll still pay more if they use more energy.

If a person is eligible for a price cap they don't need to do anything - it will be applied automatically by their supplier.

Who is eligible for the January 1 tariff?

People won’t be eligible if they are on a prepayment meter or if they chose their current tariff.

If neither of the above apply, people should qualify for the cap.

How much will people save?

People’s savings are dependent on their individual circumstances and which supplier they're with.

According to Ofgem, the average customer can expect to save £76. But many customers will use more or less energy than average and some suppliers will have to change their prices by more than others to comply with the cap

How long are prices fixed for?

The cap is designed to mean default tariffs fairly reflect the costs to suppliers of providing electricity and gas. The level of the cap will change on 1 April 2019.  Ofgem will then revise it every 6 months to reflect any changes in underlying costs to suppliers. This could go up or down.

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
  3. The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
  4. Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
  5. Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  6. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit
  7. For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 to talk in Welsh.
  8. We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  9. Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.