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Household bills have surged in a year, comparison website says

Households’ combined annual bills for energy, car and home insurance have surged over the past year, according to calculations from a comparison website.

Comparethemarket compared prices in November 2022 with those a year earlier, in November 2021.

The energy price guarantee – a temporary additional measure to protect bill-payers from significant increases in wholesale prices – limits the amount that suppliers can charge per unit of gas and electricity, taking costs to an annual equivalent of about £2,500 for a typical household in Britain.

Energy bills could still be higher or lower than this, depending on factors such as how well insulated a property is and how many people are living in a property.

The typical cost under the guarantee is £1,223 higher than regulator Ofgem’s energy price cap that was in place in November 2021, at £1,277, comparethemarket said.

As well as the energy price guarantee, households are receiving other support to help with their costs, including the widespread £400 non-repayable energy discount, plus targeted cost-of-living payments for vulnerable households.

People can find out more about the support available at helpforhouseholds.campaign.gov.uk.

They can also visit Ofgem’s website for information about help and support with their energy bills at ofgem.gov.uk/energy-advice-households.

Comparethemarket said some insurance premiums have also gone up, as insurers have faced their own increased costs amid rising prices.

The average cost of car insurance in November was £629 – a £76 increase year on year from £553 in November 2021, the website said.

Home insurance costs have risen to £151 in November 2022, up by £17 from £134 in November 2021.

Other costs, including broadband, TV and phone bills are also expected to increase in line with inflation, therefore putting further pressure on household budgets, comparethemarket said.

Its latest household financial confidence tracker survey found more than a third (36%) of households with children at home are struggling to afford energy bills.

Helene Barnes, a cost-of-living expert at comparethemarket, said: “Millions of households will be worried about rising costs, with many struggling to afford their regular bills and energy prices, which are at their highest level in years.”

She said households should check their regular bills before further price rises and shop around to see where they may be able to make any savings.

Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, said: “Which? research shows that nearly two million households missed or defaulted on at least one mortgage, rent, loan, credit card or bill payment in the last month.

“And with missed payments typically higher in January, that figure may well increase as households cope with the double whammy of paying off Christmas and other cost-of-living pressures.

“It’s vital that firms in key sectors, such as supermarkets, energy and telecoms are doing all they can to help their customers to find the best possible deals and avoid unnecessary or unfair costs and charges during this crisis.”