Winter Warning: The urgent case for energy bill support this winter
As we head into winter 2023, energy prices are now falling and it may be tempting to declare the energy affordability crisis over. But that would be a big mistake. Our data suggests that millions are facing a winter as bad, or even worse, than last winter.
The current price cap remains 60% higher than in winter 2021, and once we take into account the removal of direct Government support for energy bills, the amount the average household actually pays for their energy this winter will be roughly the same, or even more than they did last winter.
Many households simply cannot afford to pay energy bills at this level. In the first 6 months of 2023, 7.8 million people have had to borrow money to cover their energy bills and 1.2 million children live in households which have had to go without heating, hot water and electricity. If the Government doesn’t step in, we expect to see these numbers rise this winter.
In this report, we set out the case for targeted energy bill support over the coming winter. Options are limited to introduce meaningful assistance in the time remaining, so the report focuses on the case for expanding the Warm Home Discount mechanism.
Note: Amended version of the report published on 25/06/2023 to correct the total cost of the Energy Price Guarantee on page 27.