Fuel poverty campaigners are warning that almost 11 million households will take a hit next April as the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced to axe the energy price guarantee.
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition said the “outlook is frankly terrifying” and the government are being urged to bring in a new package to help households.
Ruth London, from Fuel Poverty Action, said, “The outlook is frankly terrifying. It is now all the more essential – and more possible – to win a totally new pricing framework like Energy For All. Finally there is now support for this inside Parliament.”
Simon Francis, co-ordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said, “The Government may have brought some stability to the markets, but it has come at the cost of huge instability in households’ finances.
“The new Chancellor must work quickly, and with consumer groups and charities, to design a new package of support and energy market reforms that will help those in fuel poverty now and post-April.
“But while the political focus on energy bills may now have shifted to next April, millions of the most vulnerable will be living in cold and damp homes this winter and will need further financial and non-financial support.”
Consumer site MoneySavingExpert (MSE) are asking energy suppliers to allow their customers to use the government support payment of £400 for their pre-pay metres.
Gary Caffell, head of energy at MSE, said: “We appreciate that suppliers have acted fast to deliver the first of these crucial support payments.
“But combined with the wider cost of living crisis – affecting all other areas of people’s finances – not allowing customers flexibility to transfer some or all of these payments to gas meters puts these people, many of whom are vulnerable, at a much higher risk of reaching a crisis point in the coming months.
“Some may simply not be able to afford to heat their homes.”