A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, has commented on Ofgem’s estimates that the price cap will increase to £2,800 from 1 October 2022 and predictions that 12m households could be in fuel poverty across the UK this winter.
This news will be utterly devastating for millions of homes currently in fuel poverty – and for millions more households who will now spend this winter struggling to keep themselves warm.
Fuel poverty becomes a public health emergency in winter and the hidden cost of the UK Government’s continued inaction will be felt in a collapse in the mental health of those in fuel poverty, increased pressure on the NHS from those with health conditions affected by damp properties and excess winter deaths caused by cold homes.
Unless the Government acts now, it will have blood on its hands this winter.
The Government must urgently impose a windfall tax on energy production firms to help those most in need, invest in a Great Homes Upgrade to improve energy efficiency of buildings and deliver a renewable-led secure energy infrastructure.
James Taylor, Executive Director of Strategy at disability equality charity Scope which are members of the Coalition, said:
The impact of the price cap rising by £1,500 in a year will be horrific. Many disabled people are already forced to commit a large amount of their income to energy costs.
Disabled people often rely on energy intensive equipment like electric wheelchairs, electric hoists, or monitors.
We’ve heard from disabled people who must choose between charging vital equipment and heating their home. Others are going without food so that their children can eat.
Our Disability Energy Support service has been inundated by disabled people in crisis with nowhere else to turn.
Disabled people cannot wait any longer for Government intervention. We need to see benefits rise in line with inflation, disabled people included in any expansion of the Warm Home Discount and a further increase in funding to the Household Support Fund.
In comments on Twitter, National Energy Action also described the proposed increases as catastrophic.