According to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, over 300,000 more people will be plunged into fuel poverty this winter as three of the “big six” energy companies put prices up by as much as 10.4 %, with Npower customers facing the biggest hike. It is predicted that the remaining three will follow suit. The average annual dual fuel bill will increase by an estimated £137 this year.
In a move likely to embarrass David Cameron, former Prime Minister and Tory Peer, Sir John Major, has called for a windfall tax on any excess profits made by the companies as a result of increases, stating that it is “unacceptable” that many people have to choose between heating and eating and that “The private sector is something the Conservative party support, but when the private sector goes wrong or behaves badly I think it is entirely right to make changes and put it right.” The levy, he suggests, could be used to help those in most need. Earlier this month the UK Government confirmed that they may cut financial support for energy efficiency in poor households.
Conservative politicians have been highly critical of Labour leader Ed Milliband’s proposals to introduce an energy price freeze if elected.
The Energy and Climate Change Committee will question the heads of the “big six” on the justification for the increases on 29th October.
Source: The Independent 23/10/13