The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) is “welcome” but the extension “unfortunately it’s not all good news” as the monthly bill will rise by £67 from April.
Jeremy Hunt has confirmed that EPG which limits the household bill to £2,500 is to be extended for a further three months, it was due to increase to £3,000 in April to reduce the burden on finances.
Citizens Advice chief executive Dame Clare Moriarty said, “Unfortunately it’s not all good news. The withdrawal of the Energy Bill Support Scheme will still mean the average monthly bill rises by £67 from April.
“With millions already unable to afford their bills and energy prices set to remain high in the years ahead, the government must now look at long-term solutions to this problem.
“Many people, especially those on low incomes, will need ongoing support not only to pay their bills but to make their homes safer and warmer through improved energy efficiency.”
Sarah Coles, head of personal finance at Hargreaves Lansdown, said, “This will come as an enormous relief for the millions of people who are already struggling to pay their bills, and were facing the threat of price rises with abject horror.
“Unfortunately, we’re not out of the woods yet. The loss of the monthly discount from April is still going to hit hard as we’ll need to find an extra £67 each month from somewhere.
“Already 48% of people are finding it difficult to pay their energy bills – rising to 54% among those in their 30s and 40s. Meanwhile, more than one-in-20 have fallen behind on their bills (6%). This rises to one-in-seven of the fifth lowest earners.
“For these people, the removal of the £67-a-month discount is going to mean even bigger bill nightmares.”
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