Energy price cap announcement: Calls for Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss and Government to act over 80% hike
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The latest energy price cap rise, announced by independent energy regulator Ofgem on Friday, August 26, means average household energy bills could rise to £3,549 a year from October.
With countless families across the region and country already having to make increasingly difficult choices due to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, there are very real fears that this latest increase will tip more people into poverty.
The energy price cap will increase by 80.06% – the highest it’s ever been – for around 24million households across England, Scotland and Wales from October 1.
It will be adjusted again on New Year’s Eve.
A price cap on energy insures that household bills reflect the underlying cost of energy, the regulator said on Friday, as well as limiting the rate suppliers can charge per unit and capping the profit they can make at consumers’ expense.
It was first introduced in January 2019.
As Jonathan Brearley, Ofgem’s chief executive, called on the next Prime Minister and their Conservative Cabinet to issue an urgent response to rising energy costs when they take office in September, North East families joined the plea for action.
Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will be confirmed as the Conservative Party leader – and next Prime Minister of the country – on September 5.
Speaking on Friday, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said the increase in the energy price cap would cause “stress and anxiety” for people.
But he added that the Government was already working to develop more options to support households, in addition to what’s already been put in place.
Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, said it was “time for an emergency budget”, while leader Sir Keir Starmer said his party has a “fully costed plan” to freeze energy bills, ensuring families' payments will remain the same this winter.
Here's what bill-payers across the North East had to say on Friday as the latest price cap rise was confirmed by Ofgem:
John Chick: “Old people will die this winter over greed and families on low incomes will be in debt [for] the rest of their lives because they won’t be able to pay.”
Leo McCaffery: “Pathetic that's nearly half of my pension.”
Emma Griffiths: “Heat or food during winter then yeah?”
Martin Parker: “Why are people not out in the streets? Time to re-nationalise.”
John Webster: “Together with gas, electric and food prices it's economic warfare.”
Andrew Brown: “So it's okay for energy companies to make millions in profit while Joe Public has to choose food or heat. This is too much and people will die. Can energy companies live with this?”
Paul Sparrow: “So what do we do if we cannot afford it? Government handout is only going to be clawed back in tax rises.”
Rudi Michael: “Most people in town are living month to month, making every penny count, whilst ALL of the energy companies have made profit this year.”
David Hopper: “How many excess deaths this winter? Can’t afford food or heat.”
Dawn Finnigan: “You can't pay what you don't have.”
Nicole Rochester: “And are you going to add how much profits the energy companies have made lately?”