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Press Statement Re: April 1st – Energy Price Cap Increase

March 31, 2022

Matthew Cole, head of national fuel poverty charity Fuel Bank Foundation, said:

“Tomorrow, millions of households across the UK will wake up considerably worse off financially, with energy bills set to skyrocket as the April 1st energy price cap increase kicks in.

“This is on top of other increases due to be introduced in the coming weeks, including Council Tax and National Insurance Contributions, all of which are putting further pressure on household budgets and causing considerable pain and suffering, both financially, physically and mentally, to the millions of people already struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.

In the last six months we have seen record demand from people needing financial support at our Fuel Bank Centres. We are currently providing help to between 1,400 and 1,500 a day, and this is before energy prices go up.

“Tomorrow’s price cap increase is going to be tough enough for many people, but the real pain could still be yet to come, unless the Government takes action.

“In October, the price cap is forecast to rise by a further 42%, which would be a record increase of £830, taking annual energy costs to more than £3,000. For families who pay for energy through a prepayment meter, this will mean monthly ‘top up’ costs of around £428 next winter. At this level, it’s inevitable that more households will be forced to live in extreme fuel poverty, without heat, hot water or a hot meal.

“The support measures announced by the Chancellor in the Spring Statement were a start but didn’t go nowhere near far enough to adequately address what could turn into a national fuel poverty catastrophe.

We would urge the Government to spend the next two or three months coming up with a plan to provide support to both those households who were already struggling with annual costs of around £1,200 before tomorrow’s price increase, in addition to those who will be plunged into fuel poverty over 2022.

“Financial support must be meaningful and targeted at those who need it the most, for example those who are entitled to the Warm Home Discount payment. If costs rise as they are forecast to, they are going to need all the help they can get.”

Read Fuel Bank Foundation’s ‘Fuel Crisis Report’ below