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Fuel Bank Foundation responds to the Government’s energy price guarantee

September 9, 2022

Fuel Bank Foundation responds to the Government’s energy price guarantee Featured Image

Liz Truss has revealed the Government’s strategy for tackling the energy crisis, which includes a freeze on average fuel bills up to £2,500 as part of its Energy Price Guarantee, amongst other measures designed to support businesses and provide secure energy supplies in the future.

Matthew Cole, head of Fuel Bank Foundation, said:

“Today’s announcement by Prime Minister Liz Truss to freeze average energy bills at £2,500 will be a welcome relief for the millions of households across the country who stood to see their monthly fuel costs rocket in October.

“However, for those already struggling to pay the current average fuel bill of £2,017, the new cap is still an increase for them.

A more targeted package of support would have been more beneficial to those on low incomes or who are deemed vulnerable. These are the people who need it most.

“For the people Fuel Bank Foundation supports, i.e. those with a prepayment energy meter, monthly costs are still forecast to far exceed those for credit metered customers who pay by Direct Debit. For example, in January the cost of topping up a prepayment meter will be £282, compared to £142 for the average Direct Debit payment.

“People are already struggling and it is still summer. We are currently seeing peak winter levels of demand for our services, and this is before we get the usual seasonal spike when people switch their heating on and generally use more energy in their homes. If demand continues to increase over the coming months, we may be forced into a position of having to ration the support we provide.

The acknowledgment by Ms Truss that equivalent support must be given to homes that rely on heating oil as their primary source of fuel is welcomed as this is something we have been calling for.

“Heating oil costs have risen astronomically in the last 12 months and more protection needs to be offered from further increases.

“Over and above the package of support measure announced today, longer-term it is essential government addresses the country’s housing stock and the amount of energy being wasted by homes with poor or no insulation, since this is also a way to reduce bills. 

“Consideration should therefore be given to rolling out a national programme to better insulate homes, at pace, of some of the poorest in society so we can move beyond having to provide crisis financial support to keep homes warm.”