Call for Help To Repay scheme as energy bills debt soars

An estimated 5.5 million UK adults are now in energy bills debt, according to new research from the Money Advice Trust.

The latest findings confirm the heavy toll that high energy bills are taking on household finances with 2.1 million more people in energy arrears in April 2023 than in March last year and millions struggling to access help from their energy suppliers.

The figures are also more than previous data from the Warm This Winter campaign suggested earlier this year.

In the wake of the research, the End Fuel Poverty Coalition has joined forces with Money Advice Trust, StepChange Debt Charity, Warm This Winter and other organisations to ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero to set up a ‘Help To Repay’ repayment-matching scheme.

Campaigners believe this will provide a safe route out of debt for struggling households.

The Money Advice Trust research finds that millions more households were struggling with their energy costs in April than in March 2022, with support from energy suppliers – which is vital to help them repay arrears – proving difficult to access.

While support is available from energy providers for people who are struggling, an estimated 3.9 million people (7 percent) said they have not been able to access help for their bills after contacting their suppliers for support.

A further 3.2 million people (6 percent) reported not being able to get through and contact their supplier for help when they had tried to do so.

Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said:
“Energy bills might finally be falling – but for millions of households, the effects of this cost of living crisis are already baked in. With more people falling behind on energy and other essential bills and millions facing unaffordable demands for repayment, we need urgent action to make sure everyone has access to a safe route out of debt.

“The government has already provided substantial support to help with the cost of living – but no-one should underestimate the scale of this continued crisis.

“The Help To Repay payment-matching scheme we are proposing will help those who otherwise will simply not be able to dig themselves out of the energy arrears that this crisis has created. And for those most in need, the government should introduce an Essentials Guarantee to link the rate of Universal Credit to cover the cost of essential goods like food and energy.”

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented:

“Energy debt is surging to unprecedented levels and it’s clear that households are just unable to cope.

“The majority of this new debt is caused by the record high energy prices which have caused misery for millions, but generated excess profits for the firms involved in Britain’s broken energy system.

“Rather than end the Windfall Tax early, as the Government plans to do, it should instead look at how this could be used to help get those people suffering back on an even keel.

“Not only would this help reduce levels of fuel poverty now and into next winter, but it will also help wider household finances, ensuring people no longer have to cut back on essentials.”

Research by the University of Bristol has found only 26% of households have not had to take measures to cut back on spending and the majority of people are now taking steps to cut costs in one or more areas.

A third (35%) were not able to afford a healthy balanced diet at least once in the past month and one in five of those in serious financial difficulties had not eaten for a whole day at least three times during the last month.

Free, expert advice is available from charity-run services like National Debtline.

Help To Repay logo

Full detail of the Help To Repay proposal submitted to the Government can be read online:

Energy Bills Support Scheme gaps hit areas of high fuel poverty

New analysis of Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) data reveals that in some areas of the country more than one in twenty payments were not delivered or vouchers left redeemed. 

Regional data from the first five months of the scheme has revealed the areas with the highest rates for missed payments are some of the areas hardest hit by fuel poverty.

These include the London Borough of Brent where 6.62% of payments have not been delivered or redeemed, Birmingham (4.68%), Stoke (4.00%), Wolverhampton (4.26%), Coventry (3.86%) and Sandwell (4.21%).

Rural areas are also hit with poor delivery rates, such as Na h-Eileanan Siar (4.86%), Pendle (4.28%) and even Rishi Sunak’s own backyard of Richmondshire (4.08%, which equates to £285k still owed to his constituents by energy firms). 

In Scotland, the Herald reports that that the value of these missed payments tops £29m. In cities like Birmingham, Glasgow and Leeds, the value of these missed payments are over £4m a piece.

Data for the full scheme also reveals that energy firms still owe £241m to households through the support scheme, a majority of that being through unclaimed PPM vouchers with new figures expected to be published next week.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, commented:

“Since the initial revelations about the missing payments, it is welcome that energy firms have made more effort to track down customers and deliver payments to them, but this work must continue until they have exhausted every avenue to get money into the hands of people who need it.

“However, what is very concerning about these figures, is that the Energy Bills Support Scheme is not getting through to the very areas of the country which need it most.

“In towns and cities, which will also be the battlegrounds in the next general election, households have been left in the cold this winter as payments are not getting through and vouchers are left unredeemed. 

“But even in rural areas – where many homes have also suffered from delays in payments not shown in these figures by being offgrid – there are still massive gaps in the support getting through.

“If anyone feels they have missed out on Energy Bills Support Scheme payments they should contact their energy firm immediately.”

Frazer Scott, CEO of Energy Action Scotland, said:  

“It is simply disgraceful that so many households have been failed by Government support. The EBSS vouchers expire in June and it is now unlikely that most of these households will now receive some or all of the £400 to which they are entitled. 

“People will have simply gone without heat and power across the coldest months putting their health and wellbeing at risk. It is made all the more difficult due to the credit holding limitations of older prepayment electricity meters. This ranges from £99 to £250 depending on your meter and supplier. The larger the outstanding voucher value, if you have it, the more difficult it may be to apply it.  

“Those living in rural areas face even more barriers to accessing the value of their vouchers with many having to pay significant travel costs to access their local post office or other redemption point. 

“It isn’t right that those in the lowest incomes are enduring yet another unfairness in a system that for the majority, including the most wealthy of households, people with multiple homes, was provided automatically.”

Any money unclaimed by the public or undelivered by the energy firms is due to be returned to the Government after deadline for claims to the scheme ends in June.


Full Data Set Available: EFPC April energy-bills-support-scheme-gb-payments-april-2023

Energy firms set for profits boost from fixed tariffs

Research from Future Energy Associates has estimated that two energy firms that have offered new fixed tariffs are set to rake in an average of £484 and £469 respectively in profit on each customer. [1]

The profits will be driven by energy firms buying energy at a fixed cost and selling it to customers at a level below the current Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), but above the likely level of energy bills when the Ofgem price cap comes back into force for consumers from 1 July.

Analysts predict that based on an average household bill under the expected Ofgem Price Cap of £2,064 [2], customers who switch to the deal will lose out by £212 on the Ovo fix or £197 on the SSE offer compared to sticking to the Government’s EPG rate and then moving to a variable tariff governed by the Ofgem price cap from 1 July. [3]

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, commented:

“The Wild West of the energy market is back, with energy firms trying to make a quick buck from people’s confusion with their energy bills.

“They are playing on the cost of living crisis to try and tempt customers onto a deal that offers security, but appears to come at a very high price to their pocket. People continue to be penalised by Britain’s broken energy system.”

Clem Atwood from Future Energy Associates, commented:

“After record breaking power prices of last winter we are now seeing forward electricity prices come down, meaning suppliers are now paying less for power than accounted for by Ofgem’s price cap.

“While costs continue to come down, suppliers will look to exploit consumer desires to move onto lower rate tariffs by trying to fix customers at close to current rates. Our analysis of costs shows that recent fixed tariffs are likely to make suppliers around 20% profit, whilst fixing customers at unit rates above the forecasted Ofgem price cap.”

Tessa Khan, executive director of Uplift, said:

“Energy companies are addicted to trying to make eye-watering profits at every turn. Having raked in billions in a matter of months from both government support schemes and the pain felt by businesses, they are now starting to turn again to our energy bills.

“It is yet another sign that the government needs to step in and fix the UK’s broken energy system. We need a complete overhaul of the system, including switching to cheaper renewables and funding for insulation, not a return to the bad old days of profiteering energy firms ripping us off.”

Jacky Peacock, Head of Policy at Advice for Renters, commented:

“Many of the families we assist have restricted their energy use to two hours a day and may well think that the fixed price guarantee will result in a saving.  We’ll be doing our best to warn them to avoid such offers which are little short of scams.”

Ruth London from Fuel Poverty Action added:

“After all the misery suppliers have inflicted on their customers – unpayable bills, break-ins to impose unwanted prepayment meters, ill health, and cold, dark homes – is this a time for dirty tricks? The suppliers are playing on people’s fears and when we can’t pay their inflated prices we will be blamed and punished for going into debt.”

Notes to Editors

The content of this story is provided based on the assumptions below and the analysis by energy data experts. It should not be taken as formal financial advice. The prices of energy are correct at the time of analysis and may change considerably from the predictions made here.

[1] Tariffs examined: Ovo 1 year fix and SSE 1 Year Fix v28. Supplier Profits Calculated Utilising Comprehensive Methodology from Future Energy Associates (FEA), outlined below. In order to evaluate supplier profits, a comprehensive methodology was employed, which encompassed several steps as detailed below:

  • Firstly, the FEA collected electricity forward prices for a 12-month period, which is the level an energy supplier could be expected to pay for the energy they then re-sell to domestic customers.

  • Subsequently, electricity wholesale prices were calculated for each quarter, with both seasonal fluctuations and peak/base prices taken into consideration.

  • These wholesale prices were adjusted according to each of the non-wholesale price components present in a typical household bill. The analysis differentiated between components that adapt to decreasing wholesale prices and those that remain fixed, irrespective of wholesale price fluctuations.

  • Following this, electricity retail price unit rates were calculated by multiplying the annual Ofgem consumption values and standing charge forecasts. This process yielded the electricity portion of the household bill.

  • With respect to gas, the same difference ratio between gas and electricity prices, as derived from Cornwall Insight’s price cap forecasts, was assumed.

  • Lastly, gas and electricity prices were combined to determine the annual household energy bills, thereby allowing for a comprehensive assessment of supplier profits.

A chart is available which shows that, for the average household, fixing now would result in a higher bill. This model assumes that the whole difference between the cost to the consumer and the cost to the supplier is profit. This assumption is a fair one as Ofgem and suppliers regularly correspond on the costs incurred by suppliers in delivering supply to consumers, which Ofgem then reflects every quarter in its price cap calculations (and therefore has been reflected in the operating cost assumptions made by this model). This process ensures energy firms should not be subject to significant operating losses on providing domestic supply.

Future Energy Associates calculations showing that fixing now would result in a higher bill (red bars) compared to the expected Ofgem price cap from 1 July (which limits what energy firms can charge, grey bar). Because the energy firm is able to buy energy a lot cheaper (green bar) this helps to generate excess profits for the supplier. This model assumes that the whole difference between the cost to consumer and the cost to supplier is profit. This assumption is a fair one as Ofgem and suppliers regularly correspond on the costs incurred by suppliers in delivering supply to consumers, which Ofgem then reflects every quarter in its price cap calculations (and therefore has been reflected in the operating cost assumptions made by this model). This process ensures energy firms should not be subject to significant operating losses on providing domestic supply.This is summarised in the table below.

OVO, SSE Case Study (all numbers are GBP)

Tariff Names

OVO 1 Year Fixed 23 March 2023

SSE 1 Year Fixed v38

Annual Costs to households £



Ofgem Price Caps / EPG

Forecasted Average Ofgem Price Cap (01/04/23 – 30/0304/24)

See note [2]

Annual Costs to households £


Tariff Names

OVO 1 Year Fixed 23 March 2023

SSE 1 Year Fixed v38


Annual Excess Costs

To Households



I.e. difference between fixed tariff and average Ofgem Price Cap

Annual Supplier Costs of buying energy



Based on FEA calculations on forward energy prices when fixed tariffs announced.

Annual Supplier Profits £



See above for assumptions.

Annual Profits %



As a percentage of the cost a consumer could be paying on the Ofgem Price Cap.

[2] Based on EPG, Ofgem Price Cap and latest Cornwall Insight predictions and adjusted by FEA to take into account a full year of price cap changes and the Energy Price Guarantee operating for part of the year.

[3] A chart is available to outline the current situation for energy bills in comparison to the fixed tariffs now on offer.

Future Energy Associates predictions of the fixed tariffs now on offer compared to the Ofgem price cap / EPG. The Ovo and SSE fixed tariffs are indicated by the blue / green line as the cost paid by the consumer (based on average energy consumption). The yellow line highlights the cost of the energy expected to be paid by an energy firm offering a fixed tariff. The red line indicates the average household's energy cost if sticking with the Energy Price Guarantee and then a variable tariff capped by the Ofgem price cap.

Lords back campaigners’ call for changes to hydrogen trials

The House of Lords backed calls from campaigners to prevent energy firms from passing the cost of proposed hydrogen development onto bill payers

But they failed to back calls to ban energy firms from forcibly entering people’s homes to convert their heating to hydrogen. 

Plans are for the creation of “hydrogen village trials” which would force up to 2,000 homes in the trial area to convert their home heating and their appliances to hydrogen. The development of new sources of hydrogen were set to be paid for through a levy on households which was proposed in the Energy Bill.

Clauses also increased the powers of access granted to fossil fuel companies, which could theoretically involve forcibly installing hydrogen boilers without residents’ consent. 

On Monday (24 April), the Energy Bill passed its latest stage in the House of Lords and will now move to the House of Commons where the Government can seek to overturn amendments – and MPs can try and introduce new changes.

An End Fuel Poverty Coalition explainer on how hydrogen could impact fuel poverty levels has been produced and can now be read online for people wanting to learn more about this new development:

1.7m households in fuel poverty miss out on Government help

Almost two million households in severe fuel poverty will miss out on government help in 2023/24 according to new figures. [1]

Data produced by researchers at the University of York for Child Poverty Action Group has calculated that among those groups who will miss out are 688,000 fuel poor households with children. [2]

The figures also show that households in London, the North East and the North West are the most likely to miss out on Government help. Over 1m fuel poor owner-occupied households and over 500,000 struggling homes in the private rented sector will be among those who no longer get Government help.

The UK Government introduced new support packages for vulnerable households from 1 April 2023 to replace the Energy Bills Support Scheme and other programmes which ran over winter 2022/23. The new support includes payments of up to £900 for those households on some benefits, with the first instalments due to be paid this week.

Estimates based on Government data have also shown that over four million Energy Bills Support Scheme monthly payments of £66 or £67 from this winter had still to be made to or redeemed by households for the period October 2022 to February 2023. [3]

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented:

“Millions of people will be worse off in 2023/24 as energy bills remain high, but support from the Government has fallen in real terms.

“Without further Government support and rapid roll out of energy efficiency programmes, the Dickensian conditions experienced by millions this winter will be replicated again. Until Britain’s broken energy system is reformed, we will continue to see households rely on Government support to help them through the energy bills crisis.”

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, from the University of York’s Social Policy Research Unit, commented:

“This data answers an important question because it is an indication of the limits of using the receipt of social security benefits to mitigate fuel poverty, and suggests who might be the types of household that need to be targeted in other ways, including by some kind of social tariff.”

The main reason behind households being excluded is the link between cost of living payments and mean-tested benefits. 

Alison Garnham, CEO of Child Poverty Action Group, said: 

“The Government’s one-off cost-of-living payment is welcome, but this data shows it doesn’t go far enough. Flat-rate payments leave families with children, who have higher living costs, short-changed. Increasing child benefit, which lost a quarter of its value in the last decade and goes to lower and middle income households, is the first step to making sure struggling families have enough money to heat their homes.”

Tessa Khan, executive director of Uplift which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, added: 

“The Government’s rehashed policies on energy efficiency fall miles short of the national programme of insulation and home upgrades that is needed to solve the fuel poverty crisis in the longer term. Ministers also continue to deny communities access to onshore wind, which is among the cheapest energy sources around and a resource we have in abundance. Instead Ministers are handing billions in subsidies to oil and gas developments that won’t lower bills or boost UK energy security, as most of it is oil for export. 

“It is beyond time that this government delivered real policies that address the big issues affecting people’s lives, not least eye-watering energy bills.”


[1] PDF available to download: The figures are, if anything, an underestimate of the problem as the definition of fuel poverty used for these calculations is one of the most targeted available.  

[2] 69 per cent of the households missing out are from the bottom three income deciles, 39 per cent are families with children, 59 per cent are living in owned/ mortgaged houses, 66 per cent are income poor.

[3] Calculations and data available from: Customers affected should contact their energy firm for advice and information on how to claim these payments.

Council candidates urged to help end fuel poverty

Over half the population in England (54%) say they are unhappy or very unhappy with the level of support for energy bills which is now available. Just 12% say they are happy or very happy with the support on offer. [1]

The research from the Warm This Winter campaign comes as candidates have been confirmed for the local elections taking place across England in May.

Council candidates have been urged to sign up to a pledge to help end fuel poverty as part of their campaigns.

The pledge, created by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, calls on council candidates to improve the energy efficiency of Council and housing association housing stock if elected.

Prospective candidates signing the pledge also commit to backing better enforcement of existing regulations on energy efficiency and property standards in the private rented sector and campaigning to reform Britain’s broken energy system.

The polling suggests that dissatisfaction with energy bills support stretches across the political divide with 43% of Conservative voters living in England, 67% of Labour voters, 57% of Lib Dems, 58% of Brexit / Reform voters and 51% of Greens unhappy with the help on offer. [2]

Councillors and council candidates can find out more about the pledge online at 

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, commented:

“While many of the solutions to Britain’s broken energy system lie at the door of the Westminster Government, local authorities also have a role to play in beating fuel poverty.

“From providing advice to residents and taking action on housing stock, to using their influence in political parties to call for change, councillors can have a powerful voice in making life better for their constituents.”

At the start of April hundreds of people took action in a mass lobby of politicians to call for change at a national level, with over 80 events taking place at MPs constituency offices across the UK calling on them to sign the Warm This Winter MP pledge.

People affected by the energy bills crisis should initially contact their energy firm or Citizens Advice for help.


This news story relates to England only.

[1] 2,196 people interviewed between 20th and 21st March 2023. Results were weighted to be representative of the GB population.

How happy are you about the level of support for energy bills from 1 April 2023?

Very happy: 2%

Happy: 10%

Neither happy nor unhappy: 25%

Unhappy: 26%

Very unhappy: 28%

Don’t know: 8%

[2] Based on self-declared 2019 voting behaviour, England-based respondents only.

Energy bills crisis continues on April Fuels Day

Every household in the country will see their energy bills increase by at least £67 a month from 1 April as the energy bills crisis continues.

Dubbed April Fuels Day by campaigners, who are staging a mass lobby of MPs at over 70 locations across the country on Saturday, the increase in bills is caused by the Energy Bills Support Scheme coming to an end.

Figures from the Warm This Winter campaign have revealed that more than a quarter of people (29%) are already in debt to their energy companies even before the price rise. With Debt Justice calculating that those on prepayment meters have combined debts of £1bn.

An investigation by Bloomberg has uncovered that three energy firms have added half a billion pounds to energy bills by manipulating the electricity market by powering down their generators at peak times, only to then demand a much higher price from the Grid.

Figures from National Energy Action also reveals that standing charges, which customers pay every day to access the grid regardless of use, will hit a new high from 1 April – up 64%. It means that almost half (41%) of what those in the poorest households spend on energy will now go solely on these daily fees.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented:

“People are being taken for fools. The Government is saying that it is providing support to households, but the reality is that everyone’s bills are going up.

“Even when market conditions return to energy bills later in 2023, people will still be paying double for their energy than they were in 2020.

“Meanwhile, every week we learn about new ways the energy firms are profiting from the misery of households. The latest revelations about energy firms’ excesses show just how broken Britain’s energy system is.

“This week was supposed to be the Government’s big energy security announcement, but instead we got a dump of thousands of pages of policy and data with no real substance.”

Tessa Khan, executive director of Uplift, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign added:

“The government has finally recognised that Britain’s energy system is broken but, by its own admission, its plans this week won’t do anything to lower our energy bills.

“Its rehashed policies on energy efficiency fall miles short of the national programme of insulation and home upgrades that is needed, and it continues to deny communities access to onshore wind, which is among the cheapest energy sources around and a resource we have in abundance.”

“Instead Ministers are handing billions in subsidies to oil and gas developments that won’t lower bills or boost UK energy security, as most of its oil for export. It’s beyond time that this government delivered real policies that address the big issues affecting people’s lives, not least eye-watering energy bills.”

Energy bills still set to rise despite Budget

Energy bills are calculated to rise by £285 a year for the coming financial year 2023/24 according to ECIU.

This is despite a Government u-turn on the Energy Price Guarantee which was due to increase bills even further from 1 April.

Meanwhile, calculations show that combined household energy debt could exceed £2.7bn by the end of June 2023.

Other inequalities in the energy market remain with customers paying by standard credit (i.e. paying by cash, cheque or bank transfer) will pay £202 a year more than those on direct debit or pre-payment meter.

Meanwhile some regions, such as Merseyside and North Wales will pay 6.7% more for the electricity than others, such as those in the East Midlands.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented:

“Despite government support and falling wholesale prices, every household will pay more for their energy this coming financial year than they do at the moment. That’s due to how the energy pricing system works and expected reduced levels of support from the Government.

“This is coupled with soaring food prices and transport costs and no end in sight to the cost of living crisis.

“We need further action to provide energy debt relief to get households onto even keel and long term changes to Britain’s broken energy system. This includes tariff reform and rapid improvements to energy efficiency of housing to ensure we never again see an energy bills crisis.”

Tessa Khan from Uplift, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, commented:

“If the Chancellor wants to boost growth he needed to tackle the energy crisis for the long term and he hasn’t.

“Energy bills will still rise, albeit by not quite as much, meaning millions of households will continue to live in fuel poverty. From July, the average household is still set to pay double what they were in 2021.

“Crucially, there is no long term plan here to fix the UK’s broken energy system for good: no support from upgrading homes, nothing to accelerate renewables to shift the UK away from volatile fossil fuels as is happening in other countries.

“While the Chancellor might like to think the energy crisis is over, for so many households and businesses unaffordable energy bills are still a painful reality.”

National Energy Action predict that the number of households in fuel poverty will grow to 7.5m as a result of the Budget announcement.

Graham Duxbury, Chief Executive of Groundwork UK, said:

“We are glad to see the government extending support with energy bills for a further three months and taking steps to tackle the injustice of higher costs for people on pre-payment meters.

“However, more needs to be done to ensure everyone is able to access the energy they need to stay warm and well.  Even with government support in place, our Green Doctor energy advisors have been shocked by the level of hardship households have experienced this winter.

“To avoid people suffering unnecessarily in the winters to come, we need a radical plan to eliminate fuel poverty, through increasing the energy efficiency of homes, providing better coordinated advice to the most vulnerable energy users, and investing in the skills and jobs we need to transform our energy infrastructure.

“Doing this is vital to preventing the worst effects of climate change, reducing health inequalities and creating more prosperous communities.”

Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) chief executive, Gavin Smart said:

“We’re pleased to see the government taking action to support people with high energy bills, by bringing charges for pre-payment meters in line with direct debit customers and extending the current Energy Price Guarantee at the current rate for a further three months. CIH called for this as part of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition. We would however have liked to have seen more support for energy efficiency measures, helping to tackle some of the root causes of current energy pressures.

“Housing was notable by its absence. We are disappointed that the Chancellor did not use this opportunity to restore local housing allowance to the 30th percentile, as we and others had called for. The decision to leave rates frozen at 2020 levels means the affordability gap for private renters will continue to grow, resulting in increased evictions and homelessness. We would urge government to urgently look again at this, particularly given its commitments on homelessness prevention.

“We note that various changes were announced on welfare. We await the details in this in the forthcoming White Paper and will provide further briefing for members on Budget announcements over the coming days.”

MPs from across parties join call for Government to tackle energy crisis

The British public is calling on the government to support vulnerable people and do more to tackle the energy crisis ahead of tomorrow’s Spring Statement.

New research released today reveals that eight in 10 Britons (81%) think more financial support should be given to vulnerable people to help with their energy bills and a similar proportion (84%) back more support for people to insulate their homes to save energy.

The research commissioned by campaign group Warm This Winter also found that 85% of respondents agreed that developing more homegrown renewable energy would improve the UK’s energy security. 

The pledge has already garnered cross party support from MPs including former energy minister The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore (Conservative), Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Net Zero Dr Alan Whitehead (Labour),  Wera Hobhouse (Lib Dem Spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change), and former leader of the Green Party Caroline Lucas.

The Warm This Winter research also found that three quarters of Brits back a shift to homegrown renewables in order to help lower UK energy bills.

The Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP said: 

Expanding popular, common sense measures like home upgrades and building out clean renewable energy is the best way to permanently bring down bills, protect households long term, and reach net zero.

Dr Alan Whitehead MP said: 

Far too many households are still struggling to pay their energy bills and make ends meet. The government must seize every opportunity to tackle the energy crisis long term.

Wera Hobhouse MP said: 

Everyone deserves to be able to keep warm during the winter. Tomorrow’s budget needs to reflect a recognition of this by the Chancellor and deliver a real plan to address the future of energy in this country. That future needs to be a green future, where clean energy production insulates us from volatile oil and gas prices and we truly have energy security.

Caroline Lucas MP said: 

We’re in a gas-driven energy price crisis, a climate emergency and a cost of living scandal – yet this Government is utterly failing to take action which could help tackle all three, and is leaving people and planet in the lurch. To help keep people warm every winter and secure a liveable future, the Chancellor must commit to properly fund a street-by-street, local authority-led home insulation programme, invest in abundant and affordable renewables, and provide urgent energy bill support for vulnerable households.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, commented:

After a winter of misery which saw over nine million adults living in cold damp homes, it’s time for the government to stop the dithering.

We now need urgent action to protect the most vulnerable and fix Britain’s broken energy system. Even after free market conditions return to our energy bills later this summer, people will still be paying double what they were two years ago. 

Due to the energy crisis, the household energy debt mountain has grown to more than £2.5 billion and paying this back while the cost of living crisis continues is unfair. We need the Government and the energy industry to consult with charities to agree on a realistic way of tackling this vital issue.

On 1st April 2023, a mass lobby will see people around the country come together to demand change. To find out more and get involved, visit


Online poll of 2000 adults aged 18+ in Great Britain between 22nd and 23rd February 2023. The figures are weighted and representative of the GB population.

Outreach to understand prepayment meter scandal launched

A nationwide call for evidence has been launched to ask energy customers to share their experiences of moving to a prepayment meter (PPM).

People can submit their experiences through an online form which is being hosted on Citizens Advice’s website and is open until Thursday 4 May 2023. A phone line (0800 464 3374) is also available to take evidence and consumers can also submit evidence via charities they may already be in touch with.

The eight-week programme of outreach is part of Ofgem’s market review of prepayment meters and remote switching, to ensure suppliers are meeting their legal obligations in protecting customers.

As part of the wider review, the End Fuel Poverty Coalition has also submitted a response to Ofgem’s consultation on protections needed to help protect energy customers.

In its response, the Coalition re-iterated its call for a legally enforceable ban on the forced transfer of homes onto a PPM (by court order or smart meter transfer) as the only acceptable solution to this abuse of power.

Despite the current voluntary ban being put in place by Ofgem and the Chief Justice, there are still reports of energy firms using the threat of a court order imposed PPM to intimidate households.

Until Parliament can legislate for such a ban, the Coalition argued in its consultation response that Ofgem must ensure that there is no return to forced transfer to PPMs until:

  1. The full PPMs Market Compliance Review has concluded and suppliers have implemented all recommendations. 
  2. Revised licence conditions have been implemented (to extend more protections to vulnerable households and extend the definition of vulnerability).
  3. Confidence is regained that suppliers have in place processes to follow the existing and updated rules set by Ofgem.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented:

It is vital that anyone with experiences of using a prepayment meter responds to Ofgem’s call for evidence.

Only by telling our stories of the abuses that have taken place are the regulators and MPs able to take action to demand compensation from energy firms and reform Britain’s broken energy system.

Next week the House of Commons Business and Justice Select Committees will hear evidence from key players in the prepayment meter scandal including a former magistrate, British Gas contractors and Ofgem.