Shocking rises to UK energy bills in latest price cap announcement
Unsurprisingly, these energy bill increases will see millions more people across the UK facing fuel poverty and incredibly tough choices about whether to heat their homes, buy food, clothes or other essentials.
At the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), our energy advisors have always supported people in vulnerable circumstances including those on low incomes, struggling with expensive heating systems, or needing extra warmth due to illness. Now, we’re hearing from people on relatively steady incomes who could afford their bills each month before but are now very anxious they can’t. Many are forced to think about their energy usage – and possible implications – for the first time.
Over the past few weeks lots of potential solutions to the energy crisis have been banded around – like an energy deficit fund which we’d all pay back through our bills. But this isn’t the right way forward. Solutions need to be tax funded or come from a windfall tax on profits. It’s not fair that consumers are being asked to pay for last year’s energy market failure which saw many suppliers going bust.
The government needs to act now. We need urgent action to support those in financial hardship and those on already low incomes and pre-payment meters who will be severely impacted by this new price cap.
The only long-term solution is to insulate our homes
We need a longer-term, large scale home retrofit programme to help tackle this problem of soaring energy bills and cold homes. We need to literally insulate people from the impact of future energy price increases! If we insulate our homes and buildings well, they’ll become more energy efficient and cost less to run. But no one is talking about the huge skills gap in the retrofit market. There simply aren’t enough people to do the work across all trades. We need to see a UK wide green skills strategy to help solve this crisis.
We also need more support for energy advice services. CSE’s advice line calls are at an all-time high, and it’s going to be another tough winter for many unless urgent action is taken.
Watch this video reaction to today’s announcements from CSE’s Director of Household Energy Services, Ian Preston.