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Energy price change means ‘huge uncertainty’ for low-income families

Citizens Advice is doubling down* on its call for government action to protect families from hardship as the cost of living crisis continues. The price of energy in the coming winter is among the biggest sources of anxiety.

When it was announced in September we welcomed the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). It limited the unit price of energy to cap the average bill at £2500. It was due to last 2 years.

Now, following a review, the support in its present form is due to end in April. This creates a real worry for millions of families on low- and middle-incomes who face higher costs of all kinds.

We hope minsters will urgently announce measures to stop the cost of living crisis turning into mass hardship:

  • Target support to those who need it most (in contrast to the original EPG to all households).
  • Ensure working age benefits keep pace with the cost of living by raising rates by the full consumer price index
  • Lead a national energy-saving awareness campaign this winter.

Morgan Wild, CA national head of policy, said:
“The government’s decision to double back on previous promises to help people with energy costs means millions now face huge amounts of uncertainty. The cost-of-living crisis will extend far beyond April and people mustn’t be saddled with bills they cannot afford. Any changes the government makes must, as a minimum, prioritise households on low incomes and benefits – a group which is already at crisis point.”

Gillian Cooper, CA head of national energy policy, said:
“People need clear, consistent advice on how to safely manage their energy use. The government is in the best position to deliver this, with a national awareness campaign that everyone can trust.”

* Citizens Advice responds to the energy price guarantee announcement 18/10/22

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