Charities have warned that the energy crisis could leave 8.5 million UK households unable to heat and power their homes.
The End Fuel Poverty Coalition, which represents almost 50 organisations, has urged the government to cut bills for the most vulnerable households as wholesale prices are predicted to continue to soar due to the war between Russia and Ukraine.
It is expected that if the crisis continues energy bills could increase to £3,000 in October.
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, said: “Government must address the scale of the problem and use the upcoming Economic Statement in March to cut energy bills much further for the poorest. It must act now, to protect the most vulnerable, and to save lives.”
Age UK’s Charity Director Caroline Abrahams commented: “Energy price rises have pushed older people’s budgets to breaking point, with many going without heating for weeks over the winter.
“The impact on their health and wellbeing is likely to be devastating, just as it seemed we and the NHS were getting some respite after two years of a pandemic.”
A government spokesperson told ELN: “We do not recognise these projections. The government’s most recent data on fuel poverty, released last week, showed the number of households living in fuel poverty in 2020 down by 1.6 million since 2010 and around 20,000 since 2019, with continued reductions projected for the next year.
“The government is taking decisive action to help more than 27 million households with rising energy costs, with a £200 reduction on bills this autumn and a £150 non-repayable reduction in Council Tax bills.
“The energy price cap will also continue to insulate millions of customers from volatile global gas prices.”