Ofgem’s energy announcement that could see bills soar more often slammed by fuel poverty campaigners

Simon Francis, co-ordinator for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said the decision was “simply inhumane”.

A photo of coins on top of an article explaining that Energy companies are raising prices

Millions of people who are already struggling amid the cost of living crisis as energy bills soar, will now face further difficulty after energy watchdog Ofgem, which updates the price cap, said it will now be updated quarterly instead of every six months.

To the disbelief of many, Ofgem says the move will help regulate the energy market and prevent more energy suppliers from going bust after more than 30 suppliers collapsed since January 2021.

Under the current system, the cap would only be altered twice a year, on April 1 and October 1.

Simon Francis, co-ordinator for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said the decision was “simply inhumane”.

“Households will face a two-stage cost of living crisis this winter, thanks to Ofgem’s confirmation that energy bills will go up in October and again in January,” he said.

“From October, millions of families across the country will face the real prospect of skipping meals to pay for energy, older people will shut themselves into one room to save on heating and disabled people will be unable to afford to charge vital equipment, such as electric wheelchairs.

“Then in January, they will be asked to pay even more for their energy.

“Ultimately, this decision will force more people into fuel poverty in the middle of winter, causing additional stress on the NHS and it may ultimately lead to increased levels of excess winter deaths this year. It is simply inhumane.

“It’s clear that the Government and the Conservative Party leadership hopefuls just don’t get the scale of the problem facing the country, nor the public anger at rising bills. They are running out of time to act.”

News of Ofgem’s announcement was met with anger online too, with many expressing their disbelief.

Labour MP Beth Winter tweeted: “#OFGEM will allow energy suppliers to increase bills more regularly.

“This is in the interests of the companies and completely fails consumers.

“We need emergency controls on bills and a ban on unfair profiteering, before we restore public ownership.”

Another social media user tweeted: “Ofgem confirms it’ll do f*** all to help people every 3 months instead of every 6 months.”

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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