THE GOVERNMENT says it's extending the energy cap for hard pressed consumers until the end of next year.

The cap, which is set by energy watchdog Ofgem, ensures those who do not shop around, often elderly and low-income households, are protected from paying over the odds.

The Government says about 11 million households across the UK will be protected during the pandemic.

Since its introduction in January 2019, ministers reckon to have saved customers around £1 billion a year, equivalent to £75-100 a year for typical households on default energy tariffs.

An additional 4 million households with prepayment meters on default tariffs will also come under the protection of the cap from January.

The cap level for October 2020 to March 2021 is £1,042 for typical users.

Business and energy secretary Alok Sharma said: "The cap has been vital in ensuring customers do not pay too much."