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Cry for help with energy bills

Across the UK, the overwhelming majority people are crying out for help with their energy bills, claims Mike Foster, chief executive of the not-for-profit trade body Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA).

Mike Foster, chief executive of the EUA

Faced with a Price Cap increase on 54 per cent from 1 April, with many people finding their direct debits rocketing by even more, the issue of energy bills is now at the top of the political agenda.

Research commissioned by EUA of 2,000 UK consumers showed the sheer scale of concern around rising energy bills.

Nearly nine in 10 (89 per cent) of people think it is important that the Government tackles rising energy bills; 91 per cent believe the Government needs to introduce new measures to support consumers if the Price Cap increases again in October.

A measure promised following Brexit yet not implemented by Government, 86 per cent of respondents also want to see VAT on energy bills scrapped, a figure up 10 points since the same survey in June 2021.

Mr Foster said: “The outcry over energy bills is now deafening. It is top of the agenda for people now struggling to pay their way. And the issue is not going away. With the expectation that the Price Cap will increase again in October, ahead of the winter heating season, the Chancellor will have to find a way of supporting consumers. If he doesn’t, given these poll findings, he and hundreds of his colleagues better start brushing up their CVs.”

“The Spring Statement, which cut VAT on water turbines for your mill house, failed to help the vast majority. Even more than ever, charging VAT on energy bills is deeply unpopular. At a stroke, the Chancellor could shave £100 off the average energy bill, something nearly nine in 10 people want to see. With numbers like that, not only would it be the right thing to do, it would be politically popular too.”

“Short-term measures are clearly needed to help ease the current pain, but the Government must also address the longer term energy security of supply concerns that are the root cause of the problem. We need to break away from reliance on fossil gas and switch our gas networks to green hydrogen. Keeping gas boilers but changing the gas they use will help us reach our Net Zero targets, keep costs and disruption to a minimum for consumers and keep Putin’s gas in the ground.”

6 April 2022

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