‘This £200 towards bills isn’t enough’: Energy boss says Government payment to help offset soaring household costs will not protect families from financial damage
The boss of a major energy firm has said the Government’s £200 payment to help offset soaring bills is ‘not going to be anywhere near enough’.
Keith Anderson, chief executive of ScottishPower, predicted costs would jump by nearly £1,000 for millions of households when the energy price cap is next reviewed in October.
The average UK home whose tariff is tied to the cap saw its bill rise to £1,971 on April 1 after the war in Ukraine and Russian sanctions caused oil and gas prices to surge.
The average UK home whose tariff is tied to the cap saw its bill rise to £1,971 on April 1. File image
ScottishPower predicted that this could reach £2,900 in the autumn.
Mr Anderson said ‘targeted’ support was needed for the most vulnerable customers such as those on pre-payment meters, claiming Universal Credit or receiving the warm-home discount.
He said: ‘Given what’s going to happen in October, we think urgent action is required to support customers through this period.
Keith Anderson said ‘targeted’ support was needed for the most vulnerable customers such as those on pre-payment meters. File image
‘You require a sum of about £1,000 to start bringing bills back closer not to where they used to be, but closer to where it’s realistic to expect people to be able to pay them.
‘Our view is clearly now that this £200 is not going to be anywhere near enough.’
The £200 payment was announced earlier this year as part of efforts by the government to offset the cost of living crisis sparked by soaring inflation.
But Mr Anderson said the sum was insufficient and proposed other methods to fund a £1,000 worth of support such as adding the cost to all household energy bills over the next decade to spread the total expense.
He added that while a £1,000 rise in energy bills in October was not guaranteed, there was ‘no evidence’ in current price trends suggesting the forecasts would change.