A MAJOR change has been made to the energy price guarantee, which will now only freeze energy bills for six months.

Energy bills were initially set to be frozen at £2,500 for the typical household for two years, but now the guarantee will only last until April.

The move would mean that energy bills could go uncapped for the majority of households

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The move would mean that energy bills could go uncapped for the majority of householdsCredit: Getty

After April, help will be targeted at hard-up households, although details of this were not revealed today.

It comes as the new Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced a number of mega mini-Budget u-turns today in a bid to calm markets.

He ripped up the planned 1p cut to the basic tax rate indefinitely, as well as scrapping VAT for foreign tourists visiting the UK and freezing alcohol duty rates from next year.

Only a handful of policies survived, including the Stamp Duty cut and reversal of National Insurance rate hikes.

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He also announced the energy price guarantee scheme, which rolled out in October 1, will only be in place until April – and it could mean the £2,500 cap will be ditched after that.

It could mean millions will see their energy bills soar once the guarantee is up.

Mr Hunt said a Treasury-led review on how energy bills will be supported after April will be launched.

He said help after this point would be targeted to those most affected by big price rises, and will incentivise energy efficiency.

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He said it “would not be responsible” to carry on the cap after that considering the “volatility” of the energy market.

The Energy Price Guarantee is a cap just on what firms can charge customers for each unit of gas and electricity.

This means that your bill could be higher depending on how much energy you use – so if you use more, expect to pay more.

The Prime Minister Liz Truss‘ initial plan was due to save the average household around £1,000 a year, and protects billpayers from further expected rises over the coming months.

Before the guarantee, bills were expected to soar this winter to over £3,500.

Instead, the most hard-up households will have the wholesale price of gas and electricity capped, while everyone else will no longer be protected from market prices.

This would mean that the prices for each unit of gas and electricity could fluctuate daily and lead to higher bills.

Laura Suter, head of personal finance at AJ Bell, said: “Scrapping all but six months of the Energy Price Guarantee will send shockwaves through households in the UK, who are once again going to be exposed to soaring energy prices and the prospect of a struggle to pay their bills.

“The indication from Mr Hunt is that help will be targeted at those who need it the most from April onwards, rather than universal support regardless of income. However, there’s no guarantee that the support will be meaningful after April.”

What energy bill help is coming?

From October the first, all households will start to receive a £400 energy bill discount.

The payment will be dished out by your energy supplier and will be split across six discounts between October and March next year.

Households will receive a £66 energy bill discount in October and November and a discount worth £67 in December, January, February and March.

In November, a £300 one-off “Pensioner Cost of Living Payment” will be paid out to eight million households.

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It will be given to those who already get the winter fuel payment – which is worth between £100 and £300 for those over the state pension age.

Millions of households are in line to get the £150 Warm Home Discount between December and March 2023.

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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