Friday 2 December is National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day
- The charity releases figures showing the impact of Government changes to the Energy Price Guarantee and Energy Bills Support Scheme on the most vulnerable
- New national polling figures show 81% say they will ration energy this winter, while 55% are already rationing hot water, and 13% are reducing use of medical equipment
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Ahead of National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Friday 2 December, the charity releases new figures to show the impact of this winter’s spiralling prices and how the most vulnerable will be affected when the Government’s energy support changes from April next year. From April, 8.4 million UK households will be in fuel poverty.
The Government has announced the average annual energy bill will be £3,000 from April under the Energy Price Guarantee. From next year the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) will also cease and be targeted to help the most vulnerable. This is a 40% increase on current prices and means prices will have more than doubled in 18 months*.
Adam Scorer, chief executive of National Energy Action (NEA), says:
“This winter has already been bleak and next year is set to be even worse. With Government support being reduced and energy bills spiralling yet again in April, one in three households will be in fuel poverty. That means many of them will be forced to bed wearing coats, rationing showers and hot water, it means running up huge debts or self-disconnecting and going cold. Millions of the most vulnerable – carers, people with disabilities, those on low incomes and living in inefficient homes – are already bearing the brunt this winter. The situation will continue to get worse next year. The effects of this are devastating on both physical and mental health. Make no mistake, cold homes can kill. Government intervention must prioritise the most vulnerable in 2023 and beyond.”
National Energy Action’s figures show that the number of households in fuel poverty will increase from 4.5 million UK households last October to 8.4 million. Our figures also show, from April, the following UK groups will be in fuel poverty:
- 1.8 million carers
- 5.9 million low-income and financially vulnerable households
- 3.6 million people with a disability
- 1.6 million households in off-gas homes
Even before the latest price rises, many were already struggling. An online survey of 1,049 UK adults aged 16-75 conducted by Ipsos for the University of Birmingham revealed that many Britons plan to take steps to reduce their household energy bills in the next three months. 81% say they will definitely or probably leave the heating on for less time than usual and 77% will turn the heating thermostat down lower than they usually would, while 41% say they will turn their heating off completely. What’s more, in the last three months, 13% have reduced the use of their medical equipment, at least once a week, to reduce their household’s energy bill or save money generally.
This Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, National Energy Action is urging people to share their resources and figures on Twitter with the hashtag #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay to show how changes to the Government’s support will affect the most vulnerable. For assets go to www.nea.org.uk/fpad
The charity is also asking people to write to their MP. You can find a template letter at https://www.nea.org.uk/energy-crisis/contact-your-mp and if you want to know the fuel poverty rate in your area, please go to https://www.nea.org.uk/fuel-poverty-map. They are also asking any charities or organisations working with vulnerable groups to raise awareness with MPs and the public about the events they are holding.
For people struggling to stay warm and safe, please go to www.nea.org.uk/energyhelp.
Notes to editors
*Energy bills will have more than doubled in 18 months. In October 2021, the average annual energy bill was £1,277, by April 2023 it will be £3,000. Please note this is average. If you live in a larger than average household, have an energy inefficient home or have high usage, perhaps because of medical equipment, then you will pay more.
On behalf of the University of Birmingham, Ipsos interviewed a representative quota sample of 1,049 adults aged 16-75 in the UK. Interviews took place on the Ipsos online Omnibus, between 31st October and 3rd November 2022. Data has been weighted to the known offline population proportions of this audience for age, gender, region, working status, social grade and education. All polls are subject to a wide range of potential sources of error.
More statistics available on request.
Fuel poverty awareness day is National Energy Action’s awareness day. It takes place on Friday 2 December this year. The hashtag is #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay.
For details about the energy crisis go to www.nea.org.uk/energy-crisis