It's National Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, and Max Channon in the Bristol Post, reports that average domestic dual fuel energy bill, which has already soared by more than £230 per customer compared with last winter, could increase by a further £550 a year according to the NEA.
NEA chief executive Adam Scorer said: “Every home should be a warm and safe place, but for over 4.5 million UK households the cold reality is very different and getting much worse. The cost of living in the UK is at its highest level in a decade, with household energy bills the biggest driver. When the costs of essential services go up, those on lowest incomes get hit hardest.”
Bills are set to go up again in April, potentially doubling the average householders’ heating bills since last year. This is because energy prices have spiked globally due to a series of global issues aligning; increased demand from a reopening economy, a summer that was less windy than normal, plus has a higher demand for energy from China.
Scorer said that “For people already on a budgetary knife-edge, the cost of keeping a family warm has exploded. No number of useful tips or savvy shopping can cope with that.”
There are however people being awarded a winter fuel payment, which is based on age, rather than on need, who aren't facing financial strain. There are ways in which this universal benefit can be redistributed to support more people who are facing hardship. For example, Bristol based Quartet Community Foundation have launched their Surviving Winter Appeal. They’re asking people who can afford to, to donate their Winter Fuel Payment, and if they wish a top-up contribution, to help vulnerable people facing fuel poverty, isolation and financial pressures in winter. Since 2011 Quartet has awarded 90+ grants to organisations across Bristol, B&NES, North Somerset and South Glos through this appeal. Find out more here.