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Britain’s energy regulator has set a new energy cap of £1,923 for this winter, a move that means the average household bill will be £600 higher than it was before the Ukraine war.

The cap set by Ofgem for the October-December period is lower than the current level of £2,074, but it means household energy prices will remain high this winter, fueling concerns about the cost of living in the country.

That level is still well above levels seen in 2020 and 2021 before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up energy prices.

The end of government aid schemes, such as the popular £400 Energy Bill support scheme, will also effectively mean energy costs for many households will be higher than last year.

Ofgem chief executive Jonathan Brearley admitted households using below-average energy would pay “a little more” this winter.

“I’m concerned that prices will be volatile for some time to come,” Brierley told BBC Radio 4. “Prices are much higher today than they were before the crisis. So many families are going to be stuck.”

The last price ceiling reduction came into effect in July and was a sharp drop from the previous level of £3,280.

Simon Oscroft, co-founder of energy provider So Energy, said: “Even with price caps coming down again, more people than ever are struggling to pay their energy bills.”

The drop in the price ceiling was due to lower wholesale gas and electricity prices, although a recent surge in gas prices across Europe is likely to push up energy prices in the first quarter of next year.

Energy consultancy Cornwall Insight predicts prices will rise above £2,000 in the first half of next year due to volatile energy prices.

Craig Lowrey said: “While October’s small reduction in electricity bills is welcome, we are again seeing energy price forecasts well above pre-crisis levels, highlighting the limitations of price caps as a tool to support household energy bills.” Cornwall Insight consultant.

Price caps do not limit what consumers pay when using more than typical amounts of energy. Instead, it sets a maximum cost per unit of electricity and gas.

Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It is encouraging that household energy bills have continued to fall since October . . . we are successfully pushing (Russian President Vladimir) Putin out of the country. Global energy markets so he can no longer blackmail us.”

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