Households in Caithness face soaring energy bills in 2022
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CAITHNESS households could face soaring energy bills next year with some experts predicting prices could double over a 12 month period.
The warnings come as UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, held talks with energy firms and the regulator, Ofgem.
At the beginning of 2021, energy suppliers were paying 54p per therm of gas but that rose to £4.50 just before Christmas. The massive increase in wholesale prices led to the collapse of many companies.
With the energy price cap expected to rise significantly in April, households in the far north and elsewhere in the country are facing big hikes in their bills.
Andrew Bartlett, chief executive of Advice Direct Scotland, which delivers energy advice in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government through the energyadvice.scot platform, said: "These fresh warnings of looming price rises in 2022 will concern families across Scotland. It appears inevitable that steep increases are coming down the line.
“We know that many Scots are already worried about paying their monthly bills, and many have been rationing their energy usage, so this will add to the anxiety."
He added: "Energy bills and energy contracts can be a minefield for consumers, which is why we have made free and practical advice available to anyone in Scotland.
“Right now, the best advice is to remain on your current tariff and don’t panic about the collapse of energy firms because Ofgem will move customers to a new company with no loss of any money owed.
"There is also support available for those in financial difficulty and we will be making further information available to consumers in the months ahead.
"In the meantime, anyone in Scotland can contact energyadvice.scot for free advice."
Advice Direct Scotland provides free, practical advice and information on energy-related matters to anyone in Scotland, ranging from supplier enquiries, understanding the complaints process, and what to do if experiencing problems with energy bills.
People can contact energyadvice.scot by freephone 0808 196 8660 with lines open from 9am to 5pm excluding bank holidays. The service is also available online.