Energy bill hike to force additional 392,000 UK households into fuel poverty
An estimated 392,000 UK homes could be added to the 3m households already unable to pay energy bills in winter as prices rise by up to 10%.
Millions of people across Britain are set to be hit with the highest fuel bills since a price cap was introduced, according to a new analysis of data published by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition.
The energy regulator, Ofgem, is expected to raise the maximum rate at which suppliers can charge homes using standard variable energy tariffs based on the costs faced by energy suppliers.
With wholesale prices increasing, Ofgem is set to announce an increase in fuel bills as early as 6 August. Around 15m people on default tariffs and pre-payment meters will be affected by the hike.
Cornwall Insight analysts estimate that bills will increase by £112 a year from the start of October just as the nation heads into winter, the furlough scheme comes to an end and families are still struggling with the increases in bills caused by stay at home orders from the government.
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition urged the energy regulator Ofgem and policy makers to think again about the price cap rise, or the Government to step in and provide emergency financial support to those who suffer due to the decision.
“We need a new pricing framework, where poorer people don’t pay higher rates than the rich. We need well-insulated housing, renewable energy, and wages and benefits that meet our costs. No special provisions or consumer protection will stop fuel poverty from killing pensioners and wrecking childhoods. The pandemic has taught millions that real change can’t wait.” said Matt Copeland, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at National Energy Action.