Government support ‘helps a little’ but energy rises ‘hurt a lot’
The Money Advice Trust responds to energy price cap rise and the Government’s support measures
Posted February 3, 2022
The Money Advice Trust responds to energy price cap rise and the Government’s measures to reduce its impact on household costs
Ofgem, the energy regulator has today announced that the price cap on energy will rise in April, adding hundreds of pounds onto the annual bill for millions of households. In response, the Government has issued a range of measures to cushion the impact of this price rise on households, including energy bill discounts and a Council Tax rebate.
The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, has welcomed the government’s measures but has said they do not go far enough to deal with the scale of the issue facing millions of households.
Energy debt is now the most common priority debt (council tax, energy, rent, mortgage) affecting callers to National Debtline with 31% in energy arrears so far this year. This is up from 24% of callers in 2021.
Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, said:
“Rising energy bills will hit millions of households hard – and for those on low incomes in particular, today’s news will come as a damaging blow.
“The government’s support measures will help a little – but energy rises will hurt a lot. Low-income households need the government to go further – with support that matches the full scale of the problem. This should include significantly uprating benefits and, thinking ahead, increasing the support available through the Warm Homes Discount.
“Energy firms and Ofgem also have an important responsibility to customers in financial difficulty, and they need to work together to agree a new emergency plan to help people in energy debt.
“Anyone who is worried about their finances should contact a free, debt advice service like National Debtline as soon as possible.”