In Perspective – Price Cap vs. Support Gap
Energy regulator Ofgem has announced its new price cap for 1st April 2023 until 30 June 2023. The price cap has come down from £4,279 to £3,280 for an average multi-fuel household. Despite this fall, consumers are still faced with a £1000 increase as the Government is reducing support from 1st of April. Consumer rights campaigner and money saving expert Martin Lewis has urged the Government to rethink its decision to offer limited support for another 3 months – so far more than 110 charities have signed the petition, including Auriga Services. Now there are positive signs that the Government is rethinking whether the support should remain in place until July when hopefully wholesale prices have further dropped.
Price Cap vs. Support Gap
Our CEO Jill Wheeler has heard first-hand how people are reduced to a dire situation of not knowing how to pay for everyday bills and worried about their children going hungry. The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has released its latest figures and 3.26 million households in England are experiencing fuel poverty, this figure has gone up by a staggering 13.1% since 2021. And even more shockingly but not unexpected, this figure is set to rise for 2023 to 3.53 million households according to Government figures. National Energy Action believes this figure is much higher and estimates that when the price cap does reach £3,000, 7.5 million households will be in fuel poverty.
Despite all of this, the Government has decided to stop its generous support package that has helped so many across the country of falling into debt to pay for essentials. Now is not the time to take that extra support away. More people than ever are facing money issues for the first time and there is real risk that those who are struggling are falling into the gap of increasing financial pressure.
Energy companies must also ensure that those at risk of self-disconnection are protected, especially those who are suffering with their health and are reliant on having a warm home and access to electricity. Better collaboration between utility companies and third sector organisations is needed and energy companies must step up their efforts to share data with relevant parties which will help to identify vulnerable customers. Our Essential Sharing Network engine enables data sharing between different parties – find out more here.
Here at Auriga, we are still hopeful that the Government will extend its support for another 3 months and ultimately look to fund long term affordability and energy efficiency programs. There are rumours that more is to be announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget on 15th March and we hope, for both low and middle income households, that these rumours prove true.
If you are looking to support your customers during this challenging time, please get in touch with our client solutions team – firstname.lastname@example.org