What are energy price caps and how will they benefit me?

Energy price caps make sure you pay a fairer price for your energy. They limit how much suppliers like us can charge you per unit of energy. They’re based on the costs that Ofgem (Great Britain’s energy regulator) calculates we need to spend to get energy to your home. 

All energy suppliers like ourselves must apply the caps, and you’re price protected if you use a prepayment meter, are on a flexible tariff, or are on a default tariff that you haven’t chosen.

Price caps protect customers from being overcharged. If costs to supply energy fall, the caps make sure suppliers like ourselves pass on reductions. If costs rise, then you can have peace of mind that the caps ensure price rises are justified and you cannot be overcharged.

How long will the price cap last?

Ofgem updates the price caps twice a year, in February and August, to make sure prices reflect the changes in underlying costs to get energy to you. They also work closely with us and the energy market more generally to make sure you’re getting a fair deal at all times.

How can I check Shell Energy is charging me correctly under the cap? What do I do if I have doubts?

Ofgem decides what the caps are going to be, and revises them twice a year. They’ll always explain why they make changes, and publish the levels that we must follow on their website. We’ll then give you the details for your specific tariff.

Your capped tariff will depend on many things: how you pay (Direct Debit or otherwise), where you live, and what type of meter you have. Price caps won’t limit your total bill. This will vary depending on how much energy you use.

If you have doubts or questions, contact us in the first instance. We can provide you with information specific to your tariff.

How will I know if price caps apply to me?

We must tell you what’s changing and why, when the changes will apply, your rights and options, and what will happen if you take no action. We must always write to tell you if your tariff is changed in a way that could disadvantage you, or if the tariff you’re on is no longer available.

If you are on one of our fixed tariffs you will not be affected by any changes caused by the price cap. If you aren’t sure and want to check, contact us to see if your tariff prices are protected and to check the price you’ll be charged.

Do price caps limit my total energy bill?

Price caps don’t limit your total bill. This will vary depending on how much energy you use.  For example, you might use more energy in winter, so your bill will be bigger.

How are price caps calculated?

Ofgem calculates price caps based on the latest estimates of the costs for each supplier to supply their customers with electricity and gas. These include the costs of wholesale energy, networks, environmental and social programmes and tax. 

Ofgem also makes an allowance for suppliers’ costs and a fair level of profit to ensure we can continue to operate. Ofgem will always explain why they make changes to the caps, and you can see the current levels they’ve set on their website.

I get the Warm Home Discount. How am I affected?

If you get the Government’s Warm Home Discount (WHD) and pay for your gas or electricity using a prepayment meter, then your energy prices are protected by the prepayment meter price cap. If you get the WHD and are on a flexible energy tariff or a tariff you haven’t chosen (a 'default' tariff ) your energy prices are protected by the default tariff cap.

Am I protected if I have an Economy 7 or 10 tariff?

Yes, you’ll be protected if you’re on a standard variable or default tariff. However, we’ll advise if you’re to be affected by any changes to the price caps. 

If you aren’t sure and want to check, contact us in the first instance. We can provide you with information specific to your tariff.

Can I change my tariff?

Many customers use the price cap as an opportunity to reflect on their energy bill and even choose a tariff that’s better suited. If you're a flexible tariff customer and are concerned by a potential increase in your energy rates, you might find that a fixed tariff is a better option for you. This way, your tariff rates are fixed, so you’ll always know how much your spend will be based on your usage.

If you’re on a flexible tariff, you also won’t incur any exit fees if you switch. You can find info on all of our available tariffs here.

Will where I live affect the level a price cap is set at?

There are regional differences in the cap levels to reflect how much it costs to transport energy across the energy network to the region you live in. These network charges vary.

I’m on a Cap Tracker Tariff. How does the price cap affect me? 

There’s good news, as you’ll always pay 6% less than the energy price cap until the end of your tariff. That means, no matter if the rates go up or down, you will benefit by rates that are 6% lower than the new price cap that Ofgem sets.