Citizens Advice: “Social tariff is now essential”

The charity has called for cash payments of up to £1,500 to support certain households

Citizens Advice has urged the government to introduce an energy social tariff by 2024, as a long-term solution to the high energy bills faced by millions of people.

The charity’s report, commissioned in collaboration with the Social Market Foundation and Public First, highlights that under the government’s Energy Price Guarantee (EPG), households will spend over twice as much on energy compared to 18 months ago.

The report reveals that if the EPG remains at £2,500, almost ten million households will face fuel poverty, while the number of households facing this issue will rise to 12 million if the EPG increases to £3,000.

The charity proposes that targeted financial support in the form of a cash payment to fuel poor households would be the most effective form of social tariff and could vary according to household income and energy usage.

Citizens Advice also recommends a national programme of loft and cavity wall insulation for all households in fuel poverty.

It is estimated that such a programme could save over a million households up to £561 a year and would cost a total of £1.1 billion.

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said: “High energy costs have left too many people choosing between heating and eating. Uncertainty over future high prices only adds to the stress and worry felt in households across the country.”

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert, said: “I’ve argued for a social tariff for years, and now it could be a crucial building block to help repair our broken consumer energy market.  When things return to a more normal situation we must work out what energy market we want.”

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