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Fuel Bank Responds to the Price Cap

November 23, 2023

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Responding to Ofgem’s energy price cap announcement, Matthew Cole, head of national fuel poverty charity Fuel Bank Foundation, said:

“Millions of people across the UK who can’t afford to heat their homes will have been desperately hoping for a reduction in the energy price cap to provide some financial relief from the ongoing crippling cost of energy.

“Our clients – some of the most vulnerable people in society – are already struggling to afford to keep their prepayment meters topped up. This latest announcement will offer them little hope for the coming winter.

“Based on the new price cap rate, the average prepayment meter energy bill will still be around £2,000 a year. Prepayment meter customers also pay, on average, an extra £313 to heat their home during the winter months, compared to direct debit customers, whose payments are evenly spread throughout the year.

“On top of this, higher mortgage and rent payments, inflated food costs, and previously accrued debts are adding further strain to already thinly stretched household budgets.

“In the last 12 months, we have seen an 85% increase in demand from people turning to Fuel Bank Foundation for financial support and we’re currently forecasting a further 26% increase in demand in 2024. This isn’t sustainable.
Matthew Cole, Head of Fuel Bank Foundation

“In yesterday’s Autumn Statement, Jeremy Hunt had an opportunity to deliver a comprehensive package of measures to support vulnerable households with their energy bills this winter, but he came up short. Whilst we welcome the increase in benefits in line with inflation – something we have been calling for – and the raising of Local Housing Rates, which will help 1.6 million low-income households, the Chancellor’s statement was lacking in any real financial support to help vulnerable customers with their energy bills this winter.”