November 15, 2023
With the energy crisis still creating major issues for homes and businesses all over the world, there has been further mention of continued energy bill support for households who are vulnerable to fuel poverty.
Fuel poverty has become a much too familiar term in the past few years, with thousands of homes suffering from it. It is the condition of being unable to afford to keep a home adequately heated. This can affect all kinds of households, such as family homes and elderly households.
As we know, prices have dropped over the past few months, due to a slightly more stable energy market, and the summer months creating less demand for energy. However, we are now coming up to the much colder months, and demand for energy will increase as it does every year without fail.
This, along with recent conflict between Israel and Palestine and some other factors, has allowed for a forecasted rise in energy prices (increasing £73 to £1,996 for the average home), and the energy price cap for households within the UK.
Ending in March 2023, every household in the UK received a £400 discount on their energy bills. This was to help subsidise the extremely high energy costs throughout the Winter of 2022/2023. This support was split into 5 months, with households receiving £66 in October and November of 2022, and £67 in December, January, February, and March. This scheme cost around £11.9 billion.
There was also support for businesses throughout this time. This scheme was called the ‘Energy Bill Relief Scheme’. The aim of this scheme was to help any kind of business and other non-domestic customers afford the extremely high energy prices at the time.
Energy prices were reduced by the following amounts:
The need for further energy bill support was mentioned by Energy UK. They are calling for the Government to continue supporting the most vulnerable households to fuel poverty. This is due to the fact that nearly six million households are currently in a constant battle with fuel poverty, and with prices forecasted to rise once again, this number could rise.
With winter approaching, Energy UK has highlighted the importance of reinstating energy support. As prices are expected to remain high for the foreseeable future, the risk of more households falling into fuel poverty, and households unable to escape it is very high.
The support suggested would be much more targeted this year, with the proposed measure targeting 5.8 million homes with a social tariff framework for long term support.
Energy UK recommended a more cost-effective support system, costing an approximate £2.3 billion, a fraction of the cost of the previous support given to households. Although the support is smaller, and less people will receive help, this proposed support would target the most vulnerable people.
Previous energy bill support schemes have helped almost everyone in the UK pay for the high energy bills of 2022/2023. However, with prices still very high, more support has been proposed by Energy UK, this would be a smaller support system which targets the most vulnerable households.