Experts are urging the Government to consider an “emergency energy tariff” to help the country’s most vulnerable.
Energy bills could be reduced by £87 from their current level if such a policy is introduced, according to campaigners.
Health, poverty, housing and environmental organizations and academics have written to the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP urging him to implement that tariff.
This tariff would use the Energy Price Guarantee to set unit costs and fixed charges for vulnerable groups at a lower level.
Those in favor of the support believe that if the tariff is set at the levels of energy bills in the winter of 2020/21, households’ monthly energy bills will be reduced by around £87.
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That represents a 46 percent saving for the average family and would help many families during the cost of living crisis.
The letter to Mr Hunt cites new research from the Warm This Winter campaign which shows that over a third of people from households with a child under 5, are pregnant, over 65 or have pre-existing health conditions are in trouble financial.
Specifically, these groups are convinced that they will not or will not be able to turn on the heat at all this winter.
About 62 percent of vulnerable households already want to turn on the heat but are concerned about the cost.
To support the campaign, a petition was sent to the public to express their support for the emergency energy tariff.
Simon Francis, co-ordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, outlined the rationale behind the letter and the wider campaign.
He explained: “The reality of this winter is that, without support, we as a nation will be sheltering in warm spaces, cowering in one room of our homes or curled up inside like the michelin man. This should not be acceptable in a modern society.
“If the Government fails to avert this cold house crisis there will be pressure on the NHS, a mental health disaster and additional winter deaths from living in cold damp houses.
“The proposed Emergency Energy Tariff is a specific, targeted, time-limited and practically feasible intervention that allows the Chancellor to direct help to the families most at risk of living in cold, damp homes.
“The Government should meet with charities and industry to finalize the details of the proposal.
“He can then take the opportunity of the Autumn Statement to send a clear message to the public that Ministers understand their suffering and are willing to help them stay warm this winter.”
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