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Fuel Bank Foundation Budget 2023 Response

March 15, 2023

Fuel Bank Foundation Budget 2023 Response Featured Image

Fuel Bank Foundation responds to today’s budget statement by the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Matthew Cole, head of Fuel Bank Foundation, said:

“Today’s Budget is a win for common sense. Increasing the Energy Price Guarantee to £3,000 in April would’ve been catastrophic for millions of low-income households across the UK that would have seen the real term cost to heat their homes increase by 43 per cent.

“As a charity, this would have also had a major impact on the vital support we provide. We’re currently spending around £600,000 per week on emergency fuel vouchers for people who can’t afford to top up their prepayment energy meter. If the EPG increased to £3,000 our weekly spend would have been closer to £1 million, which isn’t sustainable in the long-term.

“Freezing the EPG at £2,500 will provide some financial respite to households, albeit energy bills are still way above where they used to be. For prepaying customers, the EPG freeze will reduce the cost of topping up their meter by an average of £91 between April and June. For the millions of people already struggling to pay their bills, this will be very welcome, particularly as the Energy Bill Support Scheme payments will have come to an end.

“Fuel Bank Foundation also welcomes the Chancellor’s decision to end the prepayment premium and bring parity between the cost direct debit customers are charged for energy and that which households on pay-as-you-go meters are made to pay.

“It’s not fair that prepayment meter users, who are typically on lower incomes, have to pay a higher rate for energy and a reform of the system is long overdue.”