Devastating increase energy price rises announced by regulator

Media Release

For immediate release

6 August 2021

Devastating increase energy price rises announced by regulator

Today the GB energy regulator, Ofgem, has announced the biggest ever increase to the energy price cap.  The increase of £153 for prepayment customers and £139 from those paying by direct debit is likely to result in suppliers putting their prices up in October.

In Scotland, there are already over a quarter of households struggling with their energy costs, living in fuel poverty. Over 600,000 households. These price rises will increase this by tens of thousands.

Millions of people will see a reduction in their incomes, as inflation rises, furlough winds down and the uplifts to Universal Credit are likely to be withdrawn.

This combination of higher prices, reduced incomes and leaky, inefficient housing will lead to a surge in utility debt and badly damage physical and mental health this winter.

Fuel poverty leads to the death of thousands of people each winter in Scotland

They call on Ofgem and the UK Government to do more to protect the most vulnerable consumers this winter.

Frazer Scott, CEO of Energy Action Scotland comments

“This is an unprecedented rise in energy costs ahead of the winter, it comes on top of a rise in April and will have a devastating effect on low income, vulnerable fuel poor households.

These rises come at a time where inflation is rising, universal credit uplift is being removed, furlough is ending, and people look set to spend more time at home.

Scotland has far too many people living in cold damp homes, homes that are inefficient with low incomes facing staggering price rises.

At this time switching supplier becomes the main line of advice offered but for far too many that option isn’t available, their debt is too high, or they are digitally excluded or there as simply limited options, as there often are for pre-payment meter households.

More needs to be done by energy suppliers and governments to protect those in most need. Deeper, sustained protections focussed on the most vulnerable, real efforts to help remove historic customer debt that are crippling households.”

Ends

Notes to editors

  • Energy Action Scotland is the national organisation working with Government and energy companies to end to fuel poverty and create warm, dry homes for all in Scotland.  www.eas.org.uk
  • Fuel poverty is the inability to afford adequate warmth in the home, currently defined as needing to pay more than 10% of income on energy costs. People living in extreme fuel poverty pay more than 20% of income on energy costs.
  • Today’s announcement by Ofgem can be found here:
  • For further information or to speak to Frazer Scott please contact Kate Cunningham kate.cunningham@eas.org.uk  07880 733644