Energy Bill Bombshell - A most unwelcome Christmas present
By Zoe Franklin
Rising energy prices have been the topic of many news stories recently and a new analysis by the Liberal Democrats has shown that families face dramatically higher energy bills this Christmas. A whopping £100 million more than the same week-long period between Christmas and New Year in 2020 - definitely not a welcome Christmas gift. And one that will leave many families with the devastating choice between eating and heating - in sharp contrast to the Number 10 parties and Boris Johnson's posh wallpaper.
To make things worse, energy bills are expected to increase again in the Spring when the energy price cap is revised upwards by at least a further £400 a year. These kinds of energy bill rises are unprecedented. And, of course, these increases will happen at the same time as the removal of the extra £20 per week Universal Credit uplift and increases to National Insurance.
The Conservatives and their Government are failing to tackle the problem. They've scrapped insulation programmes that would have reduced people's bills, cut support for the most vulnerable whilst increasing the UK's dependence on imported gas, making our country more vulnerable too.
This is unacceptable, shortsighted and puts real people at risk.
That's why the Liberal Democrats and I are calling for a new long-term home insulation programme to cut bills permanently, end fuel poverty and reduce emissions. As this is an emergency, we also need action now so the government must double and extend the Warm Home Discount to help the most vulnerable households with their heating bills.
If you are struggling to pay your energy bills currently help is available through a Housing Support Fund grant from Guildford Borough Council. You can find out more about the grants and how to apply here. The process of applying requires you to complete a short form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're struggling to complete it you can call the Community Wellbeing team for help on 01483 458055.
Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford, Cranleigh & our villages
28th December 2021
The facts and figures:
- The average yearly bill for the price cap period 1st October 2020 to 31st March 2021 was £1,102.54.
- The average yearly bill for the price cap period 1st October 2021 to 31st March 2022 is £1,297.87.
- The difference between them is £195.33 - meaning a weekly difference of £3.75.
- There are 27.8 million households in the UK, meaning that on average all pay an extra £3.75 for the week of Christmas and New Year.
- This means that all households will pay £104,141,465.75 more for their bills in 2021 compared to 2020.
The Warm Home Discount is a Government benefit of £140 added to electricity bills. It is available automatically to all pensions who receive the "Guarantee credit" element of Pension Credit.
Liberal Democrats have proposed doubling the Warm Home Discount to £240 and expanding it to all pensioners who receive any type of pension credit and all those who receive Universal Credit in the face of the unprecedented rise in bills.