'Still too much!' Britons call for more energy bill support as six million families at risk of fuel poverty

'Still too much!' Britons call for more energy bill support as six million families at risk of fuel poverty

Liam Halligan on Ofgem increase to energy bills

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 23/02/2024

- 09:53

Updated: 23/02/2024

- 15:00

Ofgem’s energy price cap will drop from April but households are still calling for more support as bills remain high

Energy bills are “still too much to cope with” despite Ofgem announcing the price cap will drop to its lowest level in two years, Britons have warned.

The regulator today confirmed the cap, which is the maximum energy suppliers can charge the average household per unit of gas and electricity, would drop by 12.3 per cent from April 1.

Ofgem’s price cap will fall from £1,928 a year to £1,690 for a typical dual-fuel household paying by direct debits. However, families who use more energy than average will likely pay more.

With the price cap dropping by £238 a year, households are in line to make a saving of around £20 a month but this has not stopped calls for the Government do more to tackle the energy bill crisis.

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Woman looking at bill

Energy bills are still 'too much' despite Ofgem's announcement


Charity National Energy Action has revealed that six million households in the UK are at risk of being in fuel poverty from April.

This is the term used to describe when households are unable to keep their home adequately heated at a reasonable cost.

External pressures on the energy market and the collapse of multiple suppliers have contributed to families paying more towards their gas and electricity in recent years.

Despite Ofgem being set to reduce prepayment meter standing charges to make sure they never exceed the standing charges paid by direct debit customers, Britons are urging for more to be done.

Lynn Wells, a client who has received help from National Energy Action, noted that the price cap dropping “will make a difference” but energy bills are “still too much to cope with”.

She explained: “I do everything I can to keep my bills down. I’ve got an egg timer in my shower to keep them short.

“I’ve got foil behind radiators, sealants on the doors, I don’t have my heating on – my home stays around 12-15 degrees Celsius. Coming home to a cold home, with my osteoporosis, is really hard.

“I’ve been to food banks – I’ve seen carers and even police community support officers queuing up to get food for their families. The government should be providing more support for people’s energy bills.”

Energy bills statement being read by man under blanket

Energy bills are forecast to drop from April


Adam Scorer, the chief executive of National Energy Action (NEA), described today’s move from the country’s energy regulator as “good news” but warned of the reality millions are left facing.

He said: “Households in fuel poverty, on negative budgets and in impossible debt will see no chink of light this morning. The cost gap between where they are right now and escaping fuel poverty is getting wider.

“Whatever relief might be felt by this news, years of punishingly high energy bills will continue to take a heavy toll. Stubbornly high prices are here for the foreseeable future – the government cannot simply ignore this as the new normal.

“We need a social tariff to provide permanent, deep protection for low-income households, we need action on debt to bring households out of this spiral, and we need long-term, significant investment in energy efficiency to make sure households are resilient against energy crises.”

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