Why have gas prices been rising?

The big spike in the price of natural gas in 2021 has shaken up the energy sector, made gas supply companies bankrupt, pushed up inflation and in 2022 forced governments around the world to intervene.

The spike was initially caused by the lack of natural gas reserves in 2021 after the coronavirus pandemic and as the world started to recover the gas supplies didn’t catch up with demand. China’s transitioning away from coal to cleaner alternatives to power its nation and the UK’s windless summer of 2022, have exacerbated the problem.

Ofgem sets a price cap every 3 months in the UK to protect consumers from energy company profiteering. Unfortunately it did not rise quickly enough for some energy companies with weak capital reserves and a large number of smaller energy firms collapsed because they were unable to pass on the gas price rises to the consumer.

Then Russia invaded Ukraine. One of the biggest grain exporters in the world was suddenly at war with one of the largest exporters of oil and gas. For world economies it was not good news because food inflation and gas prices were already spiking.

When the energy cap by Ofgem finally caught up with wholesale gas prices, households and businesses suddenly had very large bills to pay. So much so that the UK government stepped in on 1st October 2022 to get us through the winter with the energy price guarantee that sets the average kWh price to a lower value than one set by Ofgem.

Only recently have prices started to fall but households still have to pay for peak wholesale gas prices purchased by suppliers months previously. The continuing high price of fuel, gas and electricity together with poorly planned political decisions have contributed to the rise in inflation and interest rates. There is a need for support to those unable to pay their gas bills and those struggling to pay their mortgage.

Cheap gas

What is the energy price cap and how does it affect me?

The energy price cap for gas is set by ofgem who are an independent energy regulator created to protect UK households from profiteering and price fixing.

The energy price cap sets a maximum price that gas suppliers can charge consumers for each kilowatt hour (kWh) of gas they use. How much you pay depends on how much gas you use and other factors, such as;

  • Where you live.
  • The way you pay.
  • What type of meter you use.

Ofgem now sets the cap every 3 months based on the price of gas and other inflationary costs. Suppliers can still charge the consumer what they like under the cap so you can still find better deals if you feel that your current gas supplier is not affordable.

The Ofgem price cap between 1st January to the 31st March is £4,279 per year (gas and electricity). This is a very large lump of money and very difficult for most households to pay while paying other bills and the mortgage/rent. For this reason, the government stepped in with its Energy Price Guarantee.

Ofgem price cap announcement dates

Price Cap Period

Announcement date

01/04/23 - 30/06/23


01/07/23 - 30/09/23


01/10/23 - 31/12/23


What is the Energy Price Guarantee?

The Energy Price Guarantee is £2,500 per year (gas and electricity) per your typical household (direct debit consumer) in the UK if you are on the standard variable tariff. So for the winter (2022-23) the average price of gas is £0.10 per/kWh.

The Government will compensate the gas suppliers so that you only pay that much and as you can see there is a big difference between the Ofgem price cap and the Government cap so it is going to cost the taxpayers of the UK a lot of money.

Why does where you live affect the cost of gas?

If you live in the East Midlands or the North of Scotland you pay less for your gas than if you lived in the North of Wales where you would pay more. This is because each region has an energy network operator that sets the price for each region.

Each region varies due to the amount of gas they are able to source and the price of distributing that gas. The North of Scotland is a large producer of oil and gas and this makes the cost of distributing gas cheaper.

Why is paying the gas bill by direct debit cheaper than pay as you go?

Paying your gas bill by direct debit is around 6% cheaper than any other method as it is easier for your supplier to collect payment and for you to pay on time. You have to make sure that the monthly price you pay fairly reflects how much gas you are using throughout the year. If you are choosing this method make sure that you can set monthly payments if you have a dispute about how much you are paying. Don’t build up too much credit that could be better used for something else.

Gas consumers who are paying “by bill” or “prepaid” and think they should be paying by direct debit should encourage the supplier to change their payment plan. Unfortunately not everybody can pay by direct debit but you can save up to £200 a year on your bill if you do.

Why is gas cheaper using a smart meter?

Those who have a smart meter with a display showing how much electricity and gas is used everyday will know that it has an effect on how you use your boiler for heating and hot water. Consumers who use smart meters tend to use less gas because they can see how much they are using and turn their thermostats and hot water controls to the optimum settings. A smart meter tarrif is lower than a prepaid meter and you have a great selection of tarrifs compared to a standard meter.

The only disadvantage with that is “over monitoring” your gas consumption. More vulnerable groups on low incomes, including the elderly, can negatively affect their wellbeing by not heating their house or missing a hot meal due to the costs they see on the smart meter.

Choosing the right gas supplier

Unfortunately, the cost of gas will not return to the levels seen before the crisis. Market forces such as inflation and the war in Ukraine together with more demand, mean gas prices will now be more volatile.

Gas suppliers usually provide your electricity as well, so it is best to find a combination package that suits your budget.


Day unit rate p/kWh

Standing charge pence/day




British Gas









There is talk that the Government will continue supporting gas consumers with the Energy Price Guarantee after the 31st March which will be welcomed.

Will upgrading my old boiler save money?

The answer to that is yes. If you boiler is over ten years old you can save money (up to 30%) if you switch to a modern A+ grade condensing boiler. But you should first check the condition of your houses insulation. Keeping you home warm can be improved significantly by making sure you have got the correct insulation in your attic space and walls. This will mean the boiler will not have to work so hard to heat your home.

Contact a local heating engineer who can give you advice on what type of boiler to choose for your property and tips on how best to insulate your home.

Estimates for common heating engineer jobs;

Job Estimate
Cost to replace a hot water immersion heater £275
Cost to fit underfloor heating £250
Cost to service a gas fire £150
Cost to replace a vented hot water cylinder £330
Cost to replace a central heating pump £95
Cost to replace a heating programmer £180
Cost to powerflush a central heating system £500 Visit
Cost to install heating oil storage tank £1250
Cost to replace an oil boiler £1330
New combi or system boiler installation – like for like replacement £500
Cost to move and relocate a boiler £830
Cheap boiler insurance £10.00 per month
Cost to install skirting board heating £990
Cost to install an LPG boiler £1190
Cost to install hydrogen boiler £1350
Cost to install a gas fire £350
Cost to install a chimney liner £575
Cost to install biomass boiler £1430
Cost to install a ground source heat pump £3750
Cheap gas £110.00 per month
Cost to fix a boiler fault error code £85
Cost to replace an unvented hot water cylinder, e.g., Megaflo £305
Cost to fit thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) £94
Cost to fit smart heating controls £100
Cost to fit a magnetic filter for boiler £113
Cost to fit a heated towel rail £75
Cost to fit a radiator £80
Cost to install a gas cooker or hob £190
Boiler service cost £90
Boiler repair costs (e.g. pump, diverter valve or heat exchanger) £333
Cost to install an air source heat pump £556
Replacement of a vented system £580

Rates for other trades

Gas estimated cost per month
Gas approximate cost in the UK per month
Location in UKGas cost
Gas near Aberdeen£110.89
Gas near Amber Valley£110.96
Gas near Angus£110.67
Gas near Arun£111.41
Gas near Ashfield£110.89
Gas near Aylesbury Vale£111.78
Gas near Barnsley£110.74
Gas near Basildon£111.48
Gas near Basingstoke & Deane£112.22
Gas near Bassetlaw£110.67
Gas near Bath & North East Somerset£111.04
Gas near Bedford£111.56
Gas near Belfast£110.52
Gas near Birmingham£110.96
Gas near Blackburn£110.74
Gas near Blackpool£110.74
Gas near Bolton£110.96
Gas near Bournemouth£111.26
Gas near Bracknell Forest£112.22
Gas near Bradford£110.74
Gas near Braintree£111.33
Gas near Breckland£110.67
Gas near Bridgend£110.67
Gas near Brighton£111.56
Gas near Bristol£110.89
Gas near Broadland£111.19
Gas near Broxtowe£110.96
Gas near Bury£110.89
Gas near Caerphilly£110.52
Gas near Calderdale£110.67
Gas near Cambridge£111.33
Gas near Canterbury£111.33
Gas near Cardiff£110.59
Gas near Carmarthenshire£110.07
Gas near Charnwood£110.96
Gas near Chelmsford£111.41
Gas near Cheltenham£111.26
Gas near Cherwell£111.41
Gas near Chester£110.89
Gas near Colchester£111.26
Gas near Conway£110.44
Gas near Coventry£110.96
Gas near Crewe & Nantwich£110.81
Gas near Dacorum£111.93
Gas near Derby£110.81
Gas near Doncaster£110.74
Gas near Dover£111.33
Gas near Dudley£111.04
Gas near Dumfries & Galloway£110.59
Gas near Dundee£111.04
Gas near East Ayrshire£110.74
Gas near East Devon£110.59
Gas near East Dunbartonshire£111.11
Gas near East Hampshire£111.33
Gas near East Hertfordshire£111.70
Gas near East Lindsey£110.52
Gas near East Riding£110.59
Gas near Eastleigh£111.26
Gas near Edinburgh£111.11
Gas near Elmbridge£112.30
Gas near Epping Forest£112.15
Gas near Erewash£110.89
Gas near Exeter£110.74
Gas near Falkirk£111.11
Gas near Fife£110.89
Gas near Flintshire£110.74
Gas near Gateshead£111.11
Gas near Gedling£110.89
Gas near Glasgow£111.11
Gas near Gloucester£112.89
Gas near Guildford£112.15
Gas near Gwynedd£110.15
Gas near Halton£110.96
Gas near Harrogate£110.67
Gas near Havant & Waterloo£111.11
Gas near Highland£110.96
Gas near Horsham£111.93
Gas near Huntingdonshire£111.19
Gas near Ipswich£112.81
Gas near Isle of Wight£111.11
Gas near Kings Lynn & West Norfolk£110.89
Gas near Kingston-upon-Hull£110.59
Gas near Kirklees£110.67
Gas near Knowsley£110.89
Gas near Lancaster£110.74
Gas near Leeds£110.74
Gas near Leicester£110.96
Gas near Lisburn£110.44
Gas near Liverpool£110.89
Gas near London£112.22
Gas near Luton£111.85
Gas near Macclesfield£110.81
Gas near Maidstone£111.33
Gas near Manchester£110.89
Gas near Mid Bedfordshire£111.70
Gas near Mid Sussex£111.85
Gas near Middlesbrough£110.96
Gas near Milton Keynes£111.70
Gas near Neath Port Talbot£110.74
Gas near New Forest£111.19
Gas near Newbury£112.22
Gas near Newcastle-under-Lyme£110.74
Gas near Newcastle-upon-Tyne£111.11
Gas near Newport£110.59
Gas near North Ayrshire£110.81
Gas near North East Lincolnshire£110.44
Gas near North Hertfordshire£111.78
Gas near North Lanarkshire£111.04
Gas near North Lincolnshire£110.67
Gas near North Somerset£110.89
Gas near North Tyneside£111.11
Gas near North Wiltshire£111.63
Gas near Northampton£111.41
Gas near Norwich£111.19
Gas near Nottingham£110.89
Gas near Nuneaton & Bedworth£110.96
Gas near Oldham£110.89
Gas near Oxford£111.48
Gas near Pembrokeshire£110.00
Gas near Perth & Kinross£110.81
Gas near Peterborough£111.11
Gas near Plymouth£110.52
Gas near Poole£111.19
Gas near Portsmouth£111.11
Gas near Powys£111.26
Gas near Preston£110.74
Gas near Reading£112.30
Gas near Redcar & Cleveland£111.04
Gas near Reigate & Banstead£112.37
Gas near Renfrewshire£110.96
Gas near Rhondda, Cynon, Taff£110.59
Gas near Rochdale£110.89
Gas near Rochester-upon-Medway£111.33
Gas near Rotherham£110.74
Gas near Salford£110.96
Gas near Salisbury£111.26
Gas near Sandwell£111.04
Gas near Scarborough£110.74
Gas near Scottish Borders£111.41
Gas near Sefton£110.89
Gas near Sevenoaks£111.93
Gas near Sheffield£110.74
Gas near Slough£112.07
Gas near Solihull£111.04
Gas near South Ayrshire£110.81
Gas near South Bedfordshire£111.56
Gas near South Cambridgeshire£111.41
Gas near South Gloucestershire£110.96
Gas near South Kesteven£111.04
Gas near South Lanarkshire£110.89
Gas near South Oxfordshire£111.78
Gas near South Somerset£110.44
Gas near South Tyneside£111.11
Gas near Southampton£111.19
Gas near Southend-on-Sea£111.33
Gas near St Albans£112.00
Gas near St Helens£110.96
Gas near Stafford£110.89
Gas near Stockport£110.89
Gas near Stockton-on-Tees£110.96
Gas near Stoke-on-Trent£110.74
Gas near Stratford-on-Avon£111.26
Gas near Stroud£111.04
Gas near Suffolk Coastal£113.26
Gas near Sunderland£111.11
Gas near Swale£111.26
Gas near Swansea£110.59
Gas near Tameside£110.89
Gas near Teignbridge£110.81
Gas near Tendring£112.22
Gas near Test Valley£111.19
Gas near Thamesdown£111.56
Gas near Thanet£111.26
Gas near The Wrekin£111.19
Gas near Thurrock£111.56
Gas near Torbay£110.81
Gas near Trafford£111.04
Gas near Vale of Glamorgan£110.81
Gas near Vale of White Horse£111.33
Gas near Vale Royal£110.74
Gas near Wakefield£110.74
Gas near Walsall£110.96
Gas near Warrington£111.04
Gas near Warwick£111.04
Gas near Waveney£111.11
Gas near Waverley£111.93
Gas near Wealden£111.56
Gas near West Lancashire£110.89
Gas near West Lothian£111.26
Gas near West Wiltshire£111.63
Gas near Wigan£110.96
Gas near Windsor & Maidenhead£112.07
Gas near Wirral£110.81
Gas near Wokingham£112.30
Gas near Wolverhampton£111.11
Gas near Wrexham Maelor£111.04
Gas near Wychavon£111.11
Gas near Wycombe£112.22
Gas near York£110.67