Fixed price tariffs could trap customers on higher bills

The second Warm This Winter Tariff Watch report has revealed that the energy market has 337 fixed price tariffs that are more expensive than the current Ofgem price cap. 206 tariffs will still be more expensive than the predicted January price cap.

Consumers on these tariffs will be paying a penalty for having fixed their energy bills and with an average exit fee of £138, many households could feel trapped into remaining on tariffs which now represent a bad deal.

The report also reveals an unwelcome league table of the exit fees some energy firms charge for leaving a tariff early. [1]

Just one in twenty (6%) British Gas tariffs come with no exit fees – and the firm’s average exit fee is £62. Among the other main suppliers, 12% of EONs tariffs have no exit fees, 14% of EDF and 15% of Ovo’s tariffs are free of exit fees.  Ecotricity, Utility Warehouse, So Energy also had small proportions of their tariffs with zero exit fees.

On the other hand, almost all tariffs for Good Energy, Octopus and Cooperative Energy come with no exit fees. However, one smaller supplier, Ecotricity, charges the highest exit fees, averaging £150.

As unit costs have come down in recent months, but are expected to increase again in January 2024, the report reveals that customers could save money over the next 12 months if offered a “one year fixed” tariff with unit rates and standing charges below the current price cap. [2]

These rates for a direct debit customer are as the below:

  • Standing Charges: Electric 53 p/day, Gas 30 p/day
  • Unit Rates: Electric 27 p/kWh, Gas 7 p/kWh

However, the analysis shows there just ONE dual fuel fixed tariff currently on the market is below these levels. For the best variable deal, the report authors predict that the current best offer could be with two different suppliers.

The report also reveals that energy firms’ operating costs are making up £242 (an average of 13%) of customers’ bills.

In an analysis of firms’ operating costs, the report reveals that energy firms may be spending almost as much on marketing, which includes sponsoring football teams, event venues and creating TV adverts (c.11% of operating costs), as they do on operating customer contact centres (c.12% of operating costs).

Operating costs, which go into the standing charges paid by households, also consist of central overheads, such as office rents and the cost of maintaining energy meters.

The report also reveals that suppliers are now expected to make an additional £140m in profit on the nation’s energy bills over the next 12 months, thanks to changes to the Ofgem price cap which came into force on 1 October.

The new rules mean that firms now make an average £64.70 profit per customer per year, up by £4.70 per customer. The projected 12 month profits for all energy suppliers has hit £1.88bn, an increase of £140m from the previous Warm This Winter Tariff Watch report (an 8% increase).

The predictions are in addition to any profits which firms have already made in 2023, which stand at a conservative estimate of over £2bn. [3]

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented:

“With energy prices subject to change, customers should exercise extreme caution when thinking about switching and fixing and we would call on companies to waive exit fees so people can switch easily to the cheapest tariff available.

“And while households suffer, the Government sits on its hands and refuses to introduce longer term tariff reforms which could bring down bills and help people stay warm this winter and every winter.

“Indeed, with the Prime Minister recently halting work to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, Britain’s households will be trapped in cold damp homes for years to come.”

Fi Waters, spokesperson for the Warm This Winter campaign which commissioned the report, said:

“Energy firms spending £242 per customer on operating costs adds insult to injury for UK households struggling to stay warm this winter. Customers should not be subsidising fancy headquarters, entertaining and marketing when these companies are making billions. That money should be used to end energy debt and lower bills. It’s yet another example of our broken energy system which the government and energy firms seem to be in denial about.”


This press release refers to England, Scotland and Wales only. For full details, methodology and sources, read the full report available at:

[1] Minimum, maximum and average single fuel exit fees per supplier for fixed tariffs in the last two years.​​

Energy firm Minimum exit fee Maximum exit fee Average exit fee Count of zero exit fee tariffs % with zero exit fees
Ecotricity £100 £200 £150 0 0%
Utility Warehouse £25 £75 £46 0 0%
So Energy £5 £75 £27 0 0%
Shell Energy £30 £75 £44 1 1%
British Gas £30 £100 £62 7 6%
E.ON £25 £30 £29 3 12%
EDF Energy £15 £200 £66 29 14%
OVO Energy £30 £75 £37 30 15%
SSE £30 £75 £40 19 33%
ScottishPower £30 £150 £66 66 40%
Outfox the Market £30 £300 £62 24 47%
Sainsbury’s Energy £30 £30 £30 9 69%
Affect Energy £75 £75 £75 25 93%
Ebico Living £75 £75 £75 33 94%
Co-operative Energy £75 £75 £75 85 98%
Octopus Energy £75 £75 £75 249 99%
Good Energy £0 £0 £0 4 100%

[2] Best tariff prices correct as of 2 October 2023. The energy market is constantly changing and customers should always check for the best deal based on their actual usage. The information on suppliers is solely a reflection on tariff prices and takes no other factors into account (e.g. customer service levels, support for vulnerable households etc). Households should always think before they fix. 

Advice provided in this press release should not be seen as formal financial advice. Energy prices are volatile and subject to significant changes at short notice. Ofgem updates its price cap calculations every quarter. Future Energy Associates advise that households who suspect they may be on overly expensive energy tariffs should explore alternative options on price comparison websites, consult with their energy suppliers, or seek guidance from consumer advocacy groups, such as Citizen’s Advice to determine the most suitable steps for them.

[3] Declared profits from 2023:

Among the firms which also provided energy, but whose supply side profits are harder to quantify EDF, profits lept to £2bn (€2.3 billion) in the first half of 2023. Ofgem is consulting on plans to make profits reporting more transparent.

Winter energy crisis inevitable warn MPs

MPs on the House of Commons Energy Security Committee have warned that another winter energy crisis is “inevitable” without further Government support for households.

The cross-party Committee took evidence from organisations, including the End Fuel Poverty Coalition members, energy firms and regulators. The final report acknowledges that more support for energy bills will be needed this winter.

End Fuel Poverty Coalition members put forward examples of dangerous behaviour that households resorted to in order to try and keep bills down last winter. But despite the Government help for households last winter, almost 5,000 excess winter deaths were caused by living in cold damp homes.

In its final report, the Committee recommended that the energy firms improve the customer service and the empathy shown to households this winter – as well as providing a priority crisis line for charities working with the most vulnerable.

MPs also suggested that the Government must take steps to get 2022 Energy Bills Support Scheme cash to households who missed out, extend the Warm Home Discount and reform cold weather payments. It also recommends radical overhaul of standing charges and the introduction of a social tariff for vulnerable households.

The coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition was one of the experts called to give evidence to the Committee. They commented:

“This is a welcome report full of practical recommendations that could help avert the looming cold homes crisis this winter.

“We’re disappointed there is nothing specific in the report to help the millions of households in debt to their energy firms and who are running just to stand still with their payments. Frontline charities have recently backed proposals sent to ministers to introduce a “Help to Repay” scheme to tackle the growing mountain of energy debt.

“But the big elephant in the room is if the Government will listen to the eminently sensible suggestions from MPs and take urgent action to keep people warm this winter.”

Recently the End Fuel Poverty Coalition wrote to the new Secretary of State to issue a warning about the risks of the winter ahead and to offer additional suggestions to help tackle fuel poverty in the short and long term.

This week the Coalition, which is part of the Warm This Winter campaign, also joined more than 400 organisations to write to the Prime Minister asking the Government to think again about weakening of net zero policies which could cause lasting damage to the UK economy.

For poverty campaigners, the PM’s decision to rule out increased energy efficiency standards comes with serious implications. New Citizens Advice figures revealed that private renters wasted £1.1bn this year on energy that leaks out of their homes, with this figure now set to continue.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition said:

“There is a real-life cost to the PM’s posturing – especially for the millions of households who rent from a private landlord. Many will now face high bills and cold damp homes forever after being abandoned by the Government.

“Last winter, the health problems caused by living in cold homes mounted up. The Prime Minister and Energy Secretary should be focussed on providing help for households to survive this winter and improve their living conditions in the long run.

“We need the Government to double down on support for households, including improving energy efficiency and reforming electricity pricing markets to ensure customers can enjoy the advantages of more affordable renewable electricity.”

Energy Secretary warned of perilous winter ahead

Following the new Energy Secretary’s first appearance in front of MPs, ministers have been warned of a perilous winter ahead.

A letter sent by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition to the new Secretary of State comes after the group warned MPs that almost 5,000 excess winter deaths were caused by people living in cold damp homes in the relatively mild winter of 2022/23.

The letter states that “the situation is perilous, the outlook deeply worrying and the need for support with energy bills is increasingly urgent.”

After the new Secretary of State failed to attend the House of Commons Energy Committee last week, her first major intervention since taking office was an article in the Sun which also failed to acknowledge the challenge faced by families this winter. 

And while Rt Hon Claire Coutinho MP answered questions in the House of Commons chamber on long term energy issues, she was silent on the need for help for families this winter.

But alongside longer-term reforms to Britain’s broken energy system, the Government has been urged by campaigners to launch a new “Help to Repay” to tackle energy debt this winter, to reform the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) Alternative Fund, to move policy costs from energy bills onto general government spending and to bring in a new Extreme Weather Payment.

To bring bills down for the most in need, a new energy cost support scheme (ECSS) has been proposed via the reduction of unit costs and standing charges under the existing Energy Price Guarantee legislation. 

Local authorities could also be supported by investing the underspend in the Energy Bills Support Scheme into Household Support Funds and further work to reform the Private Rented Sector to ensure higher and more enforceable Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.

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

“The Government appears to have abandoned plans to consult on reform of energy tariffs which could help protect the most vulnerable from the worst excesses of the energy market. This means they must bring in support to help people trapped in energy debt now and introduce an emergency tariff for vulnerable households this winter. We believe this is more than possible using existing legislation.”

Tessa Khan, director of Uplift, commented:

“While the minister is obsessed with nuclear fusion, oil and gas, the Government is ignoring the plight of millions of people facing a winter in cold damp homes. What the Secretary of State should be focussed on is helping people to insulate their homes, unblocking cheaper onshore renewables and bringing down our energy bills.”


The full letter is available to read online (pdf) and is below.  It was sent on 8 September 2023.

On behalf of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero.

We appreciate that you will be incredibly busy with the volume of vital decisions that are in your in-tray. And we know from recent polling that policies to reduce energy bills are seen by voters as the best way to tackle the cost of living crisis.

It is vitally important that the right decisions are made to reform Britain’s broken energy system. As we explained in evidence to the House of Commons Energy Security Committee this week, the situation is perilous, the outlook deeply worrying and the need for support with energy bills is increasingly urgent. 

We were disappointed that the previous Secretary of State abandoned plans to consult on reform of energy tariffs which could help protect the most vulnerable from the worst excesses of the energy market in the long term. We hope you will recommit the Government to this vital consultation on a social tariff – and introduce reforms before the Energy Price Guarantee protections end in Spring 2024. You can read our letter to the Speaker of the House of Commons online [pdf link].

As an immediate priority, the Government must commit to providing a targeted package of support to help the most vulnerable stay warm this winter:

  • Introduce the widely supported “Help to Repay” proposals to tackle energy debt
  • Move policy costs from energy bills to be covered by general government spending
  • Support local authorities by investing the underspend in the Energy Bills Support Scheme into Household Support Funds
  • Reform and re-run the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) Alternative Fund
  • Deliver a new Extreme Weather Payment of £6.50 per day for every day the Met Office declares the temperature will drop below -4 degrees Celsius (with the potential for a similar equivalent for summer months also investigated)
  • Ensure that all households who received the Warm Homes Discount in winter 2021/22 can access a £150 rebate this winter, regardless of the new process introduced in winter 2022/23 which uses an algorithm to decide who benefits.
  • Provide a new energy cost support scheme (ECSS) for households most in need of support applied directly to energy accounts (for example via the reduction of unit costs and standing charges, which can be done using existing Energy Price Guarantee mechanisms).
  • Ban the forced transfer of homes to prepayment meters and end the Government’s dereliction of duty on this issue.
  • Work with housing ministers to reform the Private Rented Sector to ensure higher and more enforceable Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

 At the moment, many of the other vital reforms needed to reduce energy bills are seen as longer term, but the reality is that decisions need to be taken now to:

  • Speed up reforms to ensure customers start enjoying the advantages of more affordable renewable electricity options, and that their electricity rates are no longer subject to the unpredictable cost fluctuations of fossil fuels. 
  • Turn the current crisis into an opportunity to engage households in a large-scale retrofitting programme, investing in an emergency roll out of cheap energy saving measures that could permanently cut energy bills by hundreds of pounds.
  • Address UK energy security and independence by quickly weaning the UK off its dependence on oil and gas and ending subsidies for fossil fuels, using the money to support a fair transition, invest in immediate support for vulnerable households and long term measures to reduce the cost of energy and make the UK supply more secure.
  • Ensure Ofgem works with energy firms to improve standards of customer service at energy firms, holding them accountable for contact ease, success and empathy. This means customers can get in touch with their energy supplier to resolve issues easily, that problems are solved in one contact and that customers are treated with respect and understanding throughout all forms of communication from the energy firm. 

 We look forward to working with you in your role and if you would like to discuss any of the issues we have raised, please do not hesitate to contact us via our coordinator.

Yours sincerely,

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition


Almost 5,000 excess winter deaths caused by cold homes last winter

The House of Commons Energy Security and Net Zero Committee has heard estimates that there were 4,706 excess winter deaths in 2022/23 caused by living in a cold home in England, Scotland and Wales. [1]

The figures, compiled by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition using official data, were presented to MPs at the Committee’s inquiry into Government preparations for winter.

At the same time, a report card by the Warm This Winter campaign on the Government’s progress against 8 key measures to tackle the energy bills crisis, has revealed that on half of these measures Ministers are making no progress. [2]

The report card shows that on 3 measures rapid progress is needed, but on one measure, the Government has actually gone backwards, by taking steps that will deepen the country’s reliance on expensive fossil fuels.

Meanwhile, mounting evidence suggests that a new class system is emerging in Britain, based on access to energy.

Fewer than 5m of the UK’s 28m households could be classed as being in the “energy elite” and unaffected by the current energy bills crisis. Around 8m have to borrow money to pay their energy bills and over 1m have disconnected for periods this year. [3]

The rest of the population are also subject to high energy bills, which have doubled in the last three years. Among this wider group, people have used up savings and cut back on essentials to keep the lights and heat on. With winter approaching and the cost of living crisis continuing, the ability of people to pay sky high energy costs is severely diminished. [4]

The health implications of living in cold damp homes are severe. In addition to contributing to excess winter deaths, existing medical conditions are made worse and a new pan-European study found that two-thirds of people in fuel poverty experience debilitating depression or anxiety. [5]

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition was among consumer groups giving evidence to the Committee:

A spokesperson for the Coalition also commented:

“The public see tackling the energy bills crisis as the main way the Government can help ease the cost of living crisis, but sadly ministers have been making slow or no progress on the policies needed to keep people warm this winter and the next.

“Thousands of people die every year in cold damp homes and countless more turn to the NHS as existing health conditions worsen due to living in such conditions. Fuel poverty is a public health crisis, but it can only be addressed by economic and engineering solutions.

“Many of the solutions do not need to place extra burden on the Treasury and we expect MPs to ensure ministers and the energy industry do much more to help those most in need this winter.”

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

“Energy is now barely affordable for a majority of households in the UK, and millions of people are saddled with energy debt or have had to disconnect because they are simply priced out of today’s energy market. 

“While it helped pay our bills last year, this government has done nothing to fix Britain’s broken energy system. There’s been next to no progress on insulating homes or unblocking the barriers to cheaper renewable energy. Instead, we’ve had a lot of hot air over new North Sea drilling, which will do nothing to lower people’s bills. The real solutions are obvious, the government is just failing to act.”

Jonathan Bean, spokesperson for Fuel Poverty Action said: 

“The country will never forgive a government that allows energy firms to profiteer whilst children go hungry and their grandparents are left shivering in their beds. And now Ofgem is planning to allow homes to be broken into again this winter to install prepayment meters – terrorising those struggling to stay warm.”


The House of Commons Energy Security & Net Zero Committee Inquiry starts at 1000 on Wednesday 6 September and can be viewed online:

[1] Excess Winter Deaths (EWDs) for winter 2022/23 data taken from provisional tables from:

  • Office of National Statistics (table 11, England: column J, lines 13-16 = 18,142 EWDs. Wales: column J, lines 37-40 = 1,324 EWDs) 
  • National Records of Scotland (link, table M1, col. N, lines 221-224 = 2,424 EWDs). 
  • Institute of Health Equity methodology suggests that 21.5% of EWDs are caused by living in cold homes. 

Applying the IHE methodology to EWDs, means that the number of EWDs caused by living in cold damp homes are: England 3,906, Scotland 521, Wales 285. Total 4,706. 

All data is flagged as provisional. NI data not available yet. Winter is defined as December, January, February and March.

Comparative number for winter 2021/22 (i.e. excluding NI) is 3,186. Previous years data sourced from ONS and NRS and collated by EFPC and published online.

[2] The Warm This Winter Report Card, summary below.

Help for people THIS WINTER

Provide more financial support for those most in need 

Is the government fixing it? NO PROGRESS

Tackle the growing energy debt mountain

Is the government fixing it? NO PROGRESS

Stop forcing people onto more expensive pre-payment meters

Is the government fixing it? NO PROGRESS

An affordable ‘social tariff’ for people priced out of the market

Is the government fixing it? NO PROGRESS

Lowering energy bills FOR GOOD

Reduce bills for good with a nationwide insulation drive

Is the government fixing it? RAPID PROGRESS NEEDED

Lower electricity costs by developing more renewable energy 

Is the government fixing it? RAPID PROGRESS NEEDED

Reduce the UK’s reliance on expensive gas imports

Is the government fixing it? GOING BACKWARDS

Claw back excessive profits 

Is the government fixing it? RAPID PROGRESS NEEDED

The full report card and source data is available:

[3] 28.2m ONS household data. 16% of the population have been able to maintain usual spending so far, and expect to be able to continue to do so (YouGov, July 2023), which is also supported by Grant Thornton figures on projected household expenditure in 2021/22 (suggested that 14% of households are financially immune from cuts). 

8m figure from Citizens Advice. 1m figure from Ofgem based on Q1 2023.

[4] “Used up savings” (Bank of England, as reported by Press Association, 29 June 2023), “cut back on essentials” (YouGov, July 2023).

[5] Latest health resources and evidence cited on the End Fuel Poverty Coalition website. Two thirds of people in cold damp homes suffer from anxiety or depression according to a Europe-wide study by the Wellbased group of academics [pdf].

Minister Amanda Solloway invited to discuss energy bills support

Members of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition have invited Amanda Solloway MP, the Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability, to meet and discuss plans to keep everyone warm this winter.

The letter to the Minister says:

“We all know that this winter will be as challenging as the last for many households, with energy bills remaining around double what they were in winter 2020/21.

“While last winter’s unprecedented levels of Government support did indeed help households, we know that millions still spent the winter in cold, damp homes.

“And this winter, people’s ability to pay high energy bills has been further diminished by the increased cost of living (while inflation may be falling, the high prices will remain with us).”

The letter sets out some immediate financial and non-financial support the Government could provide households. A wider package of recommendations are being developed by Coalition members as part of the Warm This Winter campaign and will be launched later in summer 2023.

The immediate actions the Coalition suggests are:

  • Directing the money returned to Government through unused Energy Bills Support Scheme payments and vouchers to be given to local authorities to use in the Household Support Funds (or equivalents in Scotland and Wales).
  • Introducing a ban on the forced transfer of households onto prepayment meters (PPMs) when the Energy Bill returns to the Commons at Report Stage.
  • Using funds raised through an extension to the Windfall Tax to help introduce a “Help to Repay” scheme which is backed by a range of charities. 

Additional proposals and recommendations are being developed by Coalition members as part of the Warm This Winter campaign and will be published shortly.

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition commented:

“Many of our members have heard the Minister speak passionately about fuel poverty in recent weeks. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our wider proposals to provide support for households this winter – and beyond – with the Minister.”

The full letter can be read online: 

Older people’s ‘parliament’ debates energy crisis

The 2023 National Pensioners’ Annual Convention has heard a stark warning that millions of vulnerable people will be unable to stay warm this winter.

Last year, over 9m adults lived in Dickensian conditions unable to keep their homes warm and damp free. The figures for the Warm This Winter campaign, also revealed that over 1m of these adults were older and those with disabilities were especially vulnerable to living in cold damp conditions.

From 1 July energy bills will be roughly the same as last winter and while some reduction in the Ofgem price cap may come through before winter 2023/24, the Convention heard that this would still mean energy bills are double what they were in 2021/22.

New figures from Age UK and the ONS reveal that almost half (45%, 11.3 million) of people aged 50+ in Great Britain are currently finding it difficult to afford their energy bills.

Addressing the meeting in Blackpool, Simon Francis, coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said:

“At a recent meeting with pensioners, one told me that the only change between their living conditions in the 1940s and those of today was that they had an inside toilet now. They said that the poverty they experienced as a child is what they are now experiencing again.

“Food banks, sanitary banks, pet food banks and massive government support for energy bills are the only things keeping people from destitution.

“We cannot allow this to continue any more and the Government needs to act to keep people warm this winter and every winter. We can only do this through debt relief and financial support now alongside a rapid programme of energy efficiency improvements and speeding up the generation of cheap renewable energy and moving us away from the fossil fuel profiteers of the past.”

Delegates representing the National Pensioners Convention’s 1.1 million UK members have met at The Imperial Hotel in Blackpool to discuss why millions of today’s – and tomorrow’s – older people face poverty, hardship and the loss of vital services.

NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt said: 

“The last few years have been particularly tough on our oldest and most vulnerable. 

“Hundreds of thousands died in the pandemic, and millions now struggle to make ends meet as prices rocket, while the real value of pensions drop. Older people are having to choose between eating and heating, while the essential services they rely upon, from health and care to housing and transport, continue to decline or disappear completely. 

“This isn’t just a problem for older people now, it is a major issue for today’s workers who wonder if they’ll ever be able to afford to retire. Especially if the government pushes back the retirement age to 68 and threatens to scrap the Triple Lock that should guarantee state pension cost of living increases.” 

Other Convention speakers will include Robert Palmer from Tax Justice, John Lister from Keep Our NHS Public, Lord Davies of Brixton on the future of the state pension, and Tom Lowe from the Digital Poverty Alliance on the exclusion of older people from our increasingly online world. Leaders from national organisations like Age UK, Independent Age, Ageing Better, as well as the TUC, Unite and UNISON will also be attending.

Energy firms holding £280m of cash meant for customers

Britain’s leading energy firms are sitting on a multi-million pound cash stockpile which is earmarked for customers under the Energy Bills Support Scheme which finished in March.

According to figures reported in the Mail on Sunday, over four million monthly payments of £66 or £67 had still to be made to or redeemed by households for the period October 2022 to February 2023. Figures including March payments will be available later this month.

The value of these missed payments stacks up to almost £280 million, with half owed to customers on traditional prepayment meters who have not cashed in 2.1m vouchers issued by the firms.

While there are no suggestions of wrongdoing – as any money not paid out to consumers will be returned to the Treasury – the revelations highlight the problem of energy firms not passing the EBSS payments onto people who will be in desperate need and that spent the winter in cold damp homes.

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

“In some cases, energy firms have been far too slow to pass on these vital funds to customers who may have spent the winter living in cold damp homes.

“While many millions of households have had their payments issued with no problem, the figures around pre-payment meter voucher redemption are particularly worrying. These customers are often among the most vulnerable and have been paying more for their energy in the first place.

“Energy firms need to up their game significantly to end this breakdown in customer service and help get the Energy Bills Support Scheme to those who need it.

“If a customer believes they are missing a payment or a voucher for their prepayment meter they should contact their energy supplier as soon as possible as payments can still be made and vouchers can be reissued.”

The Government also issued figures under Freedom of Information rules to The Times suggesting that the number of prepayment meter vouchers still to be cashed in now stands at 341,000. However, the official published data suggests that this figure is the number of prepayment meter vouchers that have been paid to energy firms but have yet to be delivered to households, rather than the number not redeemed by customers.

Energy firms told the Mail on Sunday that would also urge customers to claim the payments.

The full data set is available to download: MoS EFPC CALCULATIONS

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.”

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.

Brits back renewables as fuel poverty petition handed in

The British public is decisively in favour of a swift transition away from fossil fuels in order to ensure a reliable and affordable supply of energy, according to new research released today.

Over half of adults in Great Britain (54%) believe the country should aim to get off oil and gas as quickly as possible by ramping up efforts to improve energy efficiency and developing significantly more renewable energy. Less than a third (29%) support a more gradual transition away from oil and gas.

Just one in ten respondents to the poll conducted on behalf of the Warm This Winter campaign felt that the UK should aim to continue to meet its energy demand primarily with oil and gas for as long as is necessary. [1]

The news came as the campaign group, which includes over 40 of the UK’s leading charities, delivered a 400,000-strong petition to Number 10 Downing Street. The petition calls on the government to take decisive action now to solve the energy price crisis, which has left seven million UK households in fuel poverty this winter. 

The petition, which has attracted celebrity backers including business woman Deborah Meaden, anatomist Professor Alice Roberts and writer Emma Kennedy, has four key demands of the government:

  • Emergency support now: Providing additional financial support to people who without urgent action will be on the front-line of poverty every winter.‍
  • Help to upgrade homes: Launching a new, properly-funded programme of home upgrades and insulation across the UK to bring down bills and prevent energy waste.
  • Cheap energy:  More than triple the amount of renewable energy in the UK by 2030, including wind and solar generated in harmony with nature, in order to permanently lower bills.
  • Free the UK from oil and gas: Stop approving new oil and gas fields so that the UK can escape its dependence on volatile fossil fuels.

Dragons’ Den star and environmental campaigner, Deborah Meaden, is keen to see a restructuring of the UK energy market to allow the country to take advantage of the lower cost of renewable energy. Deborah said:

There is simply no excuse in one of the richest countries in the world for people to be having to make the choice between heating and eating or being forced into public spaces simply to keep warm.

The UK’s reliance on costly fossil fuels has left this country vulnerable to oil and gas price fluctuations – an absolute catastrophe for energy bills in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It’s time we overhauled the current energy system, decoupled renewable prices from the global gas market and prioritised harnessing our abundant natural resources, including wind, wave and solar power in order to secure energy supply and bring prices down in the long-term.

Jess Stone, 27, from Essex, handed in the petition on behalf of the 400,000 members of the public who signed it. She said: 

You try so hard to make everything stretch, but there’s only so much stretching you can do, and once you’ve cut out every single thing that isn’t essential, you’re still left having to cut out essentials.

It’s not just the physical toll, it’s not just the financial toll, it’s the mental toll that is getting harder and harder. Every single day I’m having to decide ‘what will we go without today?’.

I’m having to put my four-year-old to bed every night in a home that is too cold. He has asthma and the cold is bad for his lungs, but I just can’t afford to put the heating on, so we’ll go to sleep in the same bed for warmth, under two duvets, with him sleeping in his dressing gown.

I turn to places like food banks and baby banks for help. I’m grateful for these places, but they shouldn’t have to exist. Today I went to a baby bank to pick up a jumper for my son – he grows so quickly and I can’t afford to keep up, and he needs warm clothes when we can’t afford to heat the house.

I’ve donated his old clothes for other parents, we’re all helping each other out, but you think to yourself, why isn’t the Government doing something to actually solve this?

A spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition which backed the petition commented:

Across the UK, the message to decision makers is clear: we need reform to our broken energy system and no return to the dirty fossil fuels of the past.

An end to fuel poverty which also meets net zero targets is possible, it just needs the political will to make it happen.

Every so often the Government wakes up to the reality of life in energy crisis Britain and takes action. The latest u-turn is that it now looks set to keep the average energy bill capped at current levels for another three months. But in reality, this will still feel like a 19% increase in bills for people from 1 April as the Energy Bill Support Scheme is coming to an end and new support for vulnerable households is insufficient.

Tessa Khan, executive director of Uplift added:

This shows the public is way ahead of the government on how to solve the UK’s energy crisis and lower energy bills permanently. Fix the leaks in our buildings to keep the heat in, crack on with developing cheap renewable energy, and move the UK off unaffordable fossil fuels.

Yet, because of the constant whispering of fossil fuel lobbyists, this government is dithering, while wasting public money subsidising new oil and gas drilling that will make zero difference to our energy security or bills. If it approves the huge Rosebank field, the UK public will effectively be over half a billion pounds poorer because of the subsidies, and the oil will most likely end up abroad.

Unaffordable energy prices are at the root of so many of the problems we are currently experiencing, needlessly. Other countries are successfully bringing down bills by upgrading homes with insulation and heat pumps and by accelerating renewables, so why can’t we? This government just needs to get on with it.


[1] When it comes to UK energy security (ensuring access to reliable and affordable sources of energy), which of the following statements is closest to your view?

  • The UK should aim to get off oil and gas as quickly as possible by ramping up efforts to improve energy efficiency and developing lots more renewable energy – 54%
  • The UK should aim to continue to meet its energy demand primarily with oil and gas while making some effort to improve energy efficiency and build more renewable energy – 29%
  • The UK should aim to continue to meet its energy demand primarily with oil and gas for as long as is necessary – 10%
  • None of the above – 7%

Online poll of 2000 adults aged 18+ in Great Britain between 1st and 2nd February 2023. The figures are weighted and representative of the GB population.