Today’s (26.8.22) announcement from Ofgem, that the energy price cap will increase by 80% to £3,549 from 1 October, is incredibly concerning. People are already struggling in the summer months, and for prices to increase so drastically in the winter means that many people will be unable to afford to heat their homes, prepare meals, as well as being forced to choose between paying for utilities or other essentials.

While we are working with the money advice sector to determine solutions to help people in the medium-longer term, we are calling for immediate action to review the price cap to protect people from extreme hardship. The package of measures that was announced in May must also be expanded, as the £400 discount per household will now only provide minimum support under the new cap.

Abbey Fleming, Policy and Communications Lead at Money Advice Scotland said: “We’re extremely worried about the impact on households of the increase in price cap. We know from consulting with our membership that many consumers will have to choose between heating and eating, or will have to decide which bills to pay as they simply won’t be able to pay them all. There are also real concerns for people’s health as many will be forced to live in cold, damp homes if nothing is done.

“There will also be an impact on the free money advice sector, which is already facing high demand as many people will through no fault of their own find themselves in debt.

“We need immediate action, but we will also be calling for solutions that will help in the medium-longer term, as it is difficult to know whether any support announced now will help people when the cap is increased again in January, and again in April.”