Stop the 50% energy bill price rise

To: Kwasi Kwarteng, energy secretary

Energy bills are due to rise by an estimated 50% within months – pushing millions who are already struggling to the brink of financial ruin.

Energy regulator Ofgem announces its new ‘price cap’ on 7 February, and it comes into effect in April.

With the huge rises in wholesale gas prices in recent months, their current formula is set to allow this outrageous overnight price rise, an average of £50 per month extra for every household.

And since cheaper energy suppliers went bankrupt over the winter, the price cap will now be the price almost everyone pays.

It almost sounds too terrible to be real, but right now it’s on course to happen. Yet if they see enough public anger, the government can easily step in and stop this from going ahead.

MPs are already worried about how huge an issue it will become.

The ‘Big Six’ energy companies have years of mega-profits – they can afford to hold prices down for now. North Sea gas producers should also pay a windfall tax, as they are making record profits from sky-high gas prices.

However, while stopping this year’s price rise is the immediate priority, it doesn’t solve the problem in the longer term.

Britain is still far relying too heavily on gas – a dirty fossil fuel, transported huge cross-continental distances in giant pipelines, at a terrible price both for our bills and to the climate.

That is why the government also needs to commit funding to adapt homes away from gas usage, such as subsidies to remove gas boilers. And it must fund more green, secure and cheap sources of energy here, including solar and wind. They are now far cheaper than gas – it’s just the capacity that’s lacking.

Reducing bills and stopping climate change now mean the same thing: it’s time to leave gas behind and switch to cleaner, cheaper energy.

Highlighted comments

“I will be choosing between heating and eating if these hikes go ahead.”

Deb, Gateshead

“I literally can’t afford my new energy tariff and have no clue how I’ll pay it. We both work full time and have a 4 year old son. Our wages still aren’t enough to cover this massive scam.”

John, Brighton

“I’m scared to put the heating on.”

Liz, Colchester

“Living on basic pension and pension credit, these price increases – especially when combined with the others like food and basic household goods – make life desperately difficult.”

Jeannette, Lancashire

“As a single person on a part-time wage I am already cutting costs wherever I can, and this is filling me with dread.”

Anthony, Leeds

“Our energy provider went bust and British Gas’s estimate of what we will now pay is way more than double the price we were paying.”

Phyllis, Thanet

“Essential utilities should not be in the hands of private companies focusing on profit. Public ownership for gas, electricity and water provision is the only ‘fair’ way for the benefit of all.”

Frank, London

“Shocked at the discrepancies between UK and Europe in terms of energy prices, must be a result of Brexit led by this government. They now have a duty to protect the British public from the results of their lies!”

Fiona, Norfolk

“The current level of financial burden the poorest families are expected to bear will be catastrophic. Huge hikes in energy costs, stagnant wages, zero hours contracts, food shortages and price hikes, NI increases, reduced universal credit, the list goes on.”

James, Dorset



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