The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) should be maintained at its current level for a further three months, Consumer Scotland has said.
The recommendation from Scotland's independent statutory consumer body would help protect consumers from the financial stress of a temporary spike in bills following an increase in energy costs in April.
Domestic energy consumers face a significant increase in their energy bills because the current cap - the EPG - is set to increase in April. At the same time additional universal support through the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) for consumers ends.
Through the winter, average annual bills have been around £2,100 – but with a rise in the EPG and an end to the universal EBSS average bills could rise to as much as £3,000 for a household with typical use.
Current forecasts suggest this significant increase will be temporary because of falling wholesale prices for gas and electricity later in 2023, which will see the default tariff fall back to around £2,100.
Chief Executive of Consumer Scotland Sam Ghibaldan said:
“Our recent Energy Tracker shows over a third of consumers were struggling to pay their bills over the winter.
“Consumers face a short-term spike in their bills and this could be avoided by maintaining the Energy Price Guarantee at its current level until the end of June 2023.
"This would still cost significantly less than the original forecasts for the Energy Price Guarantee.”
Consumer Scotland was set up under the Consumer Scotland Act 2020 as a Non-Ministerial Office. It is independent from government and accountable to the Scottish Parliament.