As the UK braces for a colder impending winter, concerns shrouding the current energy crisis are intensifying. Anticipating the upcoming winter energy situation, Members of Parliament (MPs) have called upon the Government to take immediate actions to help the households anticipated to grapple with hefty energy bills, reports BBC News.
The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee—which consists of prominent MPs—has asked for prompt government intervention. The committee has stressed the pressing need to help residents already being squeezed by debt and cost of living pressures cut down their heating costs.
In a report, the committee highlighted the unprecedented and quick support the UK government offered the households last winter through the Energy Price Guarantee and Energy Bills Support Scheme. However, residents living off-grid or on traditional prepayment meters who were desperately in need missed this government-allocated support of £400. The committee, headed by Angus MacNeil, MP, has insisted the Government extend support to households that did not benefit from last year’s Energy Bills Support Scheme.
“The nights are now drawing in, and many of our most vulnerable people will be haunted by harrowing memories of the relentless sacrifices they were forced into last year, just to keep their heads above water in the face of exorbitant energy costs,” explained the chair of the committee.
The committee also urged the Government to re-introduce the Warm Home Discount ahead of a blistering cold snap. The Warm Home Discount is a one-off discount that slashes £150 off the energy bill over winter for eligible UK residents. It’s particularly designed for retired and low-income households. It also called on the energy regulator, Ofgem, to ensure energy suppliers offer vulnerable consumers “more time, attention and support”.
The concerns further mounted as the government has not yet announced any support scheme ahead of the challenging winter months.
Although Ofgem has reduced its price cap on energy bills for the final quarter of the year in response to falling wholesale energy costs, a third of families will face rising energy bills in the impending winter compared to the last winter.
Around 7.2 million—making up nearly 35% of households—will see their energy bills spiralling upward this winter.
The Government’s decision to reduce support on energy bills is the main reason for the increase in prices. They have changed their approach compared to last year. Another contributing factor is the increase in the standing charge, which affects all consumers, regardless of their energy usage.
The Energy Security and Net Zero Committee also called for the nullification of standing charges, asking for a system where consumers pay only for the energy they use.
Responding to the committee’s report, a spokesperson from the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero spokesperson said, “The Energy Price Guarantee will remain in place to protect people until April next year—part of nearly £40bn of support to cover around half a typical household bill.”
Meanwhile, households are suggested to reasonably keep their energy consumption in check. For example, investing in home insulation and ensuring periodic maintenance of heating boilers can significantly help improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Getting boilers serviced by experts from companies such as Mulgas ensures the system works optimally, thus slashing a significant amount of the energy bill.
Sohela is an electrical engineer and a self-professed writer with a keen interest in all things tech. When she’s not writing killer content pieces, you’ll find her enjoying tempting foods in her favourite restaurants.