Citizens Advice's response to energy announcement
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Today’s announcement hits the brakes before October’s terrifying price hikes become reality, and will come as a huge relief to millions of households.
“But energy bills are still sky high. A freeze may not be enough to reverse the devastating trend in people coming to us because they’ve run out of food or can’t top up their gas and electric. The government needs to stand ready to provide more support for people on the very sharp end of this crisis.
“Crucially, we also need the details on how this will be paid for. We don’t want to see costs added to customer bills down the line.
“And Ofgem must make energy companies play their part. No one should be chased for a debt they can’t pay or force people onto a prepayment meter this winter.”
Latest data from Citizens Advice:
Citizens Advice is seeing helping more than two people every minute with access to crisis support - such as food banks and charitable grants. More than 137,000 people have been referred for this type of support - an 50% increase on the same period last year, and a 167% increase on the same period in 2019.
So far this year the charity has supported more than 50,000 people with energy debts, a 22% increase on the same period last year
There are also worrying trends in terms of people being unable to top up their prepayment meters. Frontline staff have helped nearly 15,000 people in this situation so far this year, nearly as many as the last three years combined.
For further insights see Citizens Advice’s data dashboard
All figures run from 01/01/2022 - 31/08/2022 and compare to the same time period in previous years.
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
- We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.