New estimates by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition reveal that the axing of the Energy Price Guarantee could lead to almost 11m UK households in fuel poverty from April 2023.
And in the constituencies of the Tory leadership candidates, tens of thousands of homes will face fuel poverty.
The figures come as the Warm This Winter campaign has called for £14bn of additional financial support as well as non-financial help for households this winter.
Chief among the non-financial asks is an immediate suspension of all forced transfers of households onto more expensive pre-payment meters (PPMs), whether by court warrant or remotely via smart meters.
These demands come alongside calls for more investment in energy efficiency and a move towards a renewable energy future, and away from oil and gas.
A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented:
The constant u-turns and paralysis in government has millions of victims: the people condemned to fuel poverty.
Had we had a functioning government this year, the energy bills crisis would not have gotten out of hand and we wouldn’t be in a situation now where we have 7m homes in fuel poverty.
People are now dreading the dark nights and cold weather. The NHS is at crisis point and will be unable to cope with the health impacts of people living in cold damp homes.
We need to see an immediate £14bn package of support to help the most vulnerable stay warm this winter.
In addition, the Chancellor must urgently meet with charities and consumer groups to devise support plans for 2023 and beyond to stop even more households falling into fuel poverty.
Tessa Khan, director of Uplift, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, said:
Is anyone in Westminster paying attention to what’s happening in the rest of the country? We urgently need a plausible energy plan from the government to ensure people can stay warm this winter and next.
Truss’ ideas, which relied on fracking and new North Sea gas, were as misguided as her economic plan. Neither will make a material difference to people’s lives, they would just make oil and gas companies even richer.
The Chancellor needs to bin Truss’ energy plan, as he has the rest of her agenda, and replace it with measures that will genuinely make a difference to people’s lives, like a subsidised programme of home insulation and more affordable renewable energy.
Cara Jenkinson, Cities Manager at Ashden, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, added:
Poor quality homes that leak energy are currently causing the NHS £1.4bn a year as well as misery for people in damp, cold homes.
To solve fuel poverty for good, we need a rapid scale-up of home retrofit focused on the areas that need it most, with an investment in the construction skills needed so that work isn’t stalled by a lack of workers.