One in three homes to face higher energy bills than last winter, warns think tank

The government is 'missing in action’ to help poorest households most affected by energy bills

England’s poorest households will be affected the most by higher energy bills this winter, think tank Resolution Foundation has warned, as over one in three of all households in England are to face higher energy bills than last year.

Whilst 35% of homes face another yearly increase in winter energy bills, analysis by Resolution Foundation found almost half of the poorest families will pay higher this year. This comes as political attention has shifted away from offering households targeted support for paying their energy bills.

Government failure to provide an energy policy that ‘lives up to the scale of the challenge’ whilst also failures in creating a greater long-term action to encourage home insulation were both highlighted by the think tank.

Cost of Living payments offered by the government this year to struggling households do not go far enough, the think tank argues, highlighting the ‘litany of financial pressures’ households are currently facing including rent rises and food inflation.

Senior Economist at Resolution Foundation said: “With these energy bill increases coming on top of a prolonged period of fast-rising food and housing costs, the cost of living squeeze is far from over.

“And, although the Government schemes have improved their targeting of support throughout the crisis to those most in need, signification gaps remain which should be urgently addressed to help the most vulnerable get through the challenging months ahead.”

It comes as Citizens Advice has also warned today that 6.3 million UK households could be in Fuel Poverty from 1 October, as rates of energy debt surge.

“Everything we’re seeing sets us up to believe it will be as bad, if not worse, than last winter unless the government step in with more support,” said Matt Upton from Citizens Advice this morning.

The first six months of 2023 saw a 17% increase on the same period last year in people contacting the charity for advice with energy debt. This is up by a third on 2019.

For the 7.2 million households in England who are estimated to see their energy bills increase this winter, with the poorest households affected the most, the removal of the energy bill support scheme in 2022 will be sorely felt.

Hannah Davenport is news reporter at Left Foot Forward, focusing on trade unions and environmental issues

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