Northern Ireland is in the midst of an Energy and Cost of Living Crisis. Between September 2021 and March 2022, the cost of 900 litres of Home Heating Oil has risen from £454.75 in December to £1181.53 in early March. During this same time Electricity and Gas prices have also jumped up by as much as 50%. Households now face average combined energy bills of over £2000 per year. Despite these challenges households in Northern Ireland have been faced with shouldering welfare cuts, stagnant wages, rising inflation and the impending increase in National Insurance, causing people to struggle more and more.
Over the last number of months, NEA has experienced a significant rise in the number of households seeking emergency support. Unfortunately, we expect this trend to continue as we believe as many as 40% of households might now be struggling due to the spiralling energy costs.
Ahead of the upcoming Assembly Election, NEA are calling on politicians to commit to tackling the Energy Crisis head on. Below, we outline our key asks which we believe will assist in easing the pressures on vulnerable households in Northern Ireland, both in the short and longer term.