Age UK responds to Ofgem's decision to move to quarterly price cap changes
Published on 04 August 2022 09:00 AM
Decision means customers could face another energy price hike on New Year’s Day
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: “Ofgem’s decision to move to quarterly price cap changes is a hammer blow to the millions of consumers already struggling to pay sky-rocketing bills. With household energy costs widely predicted to reach shockingly high levels from October, the decision to press ahead with yet another price cap change in January poses an enormous threat to the health and wellbeing of vulnerable older households across Britain.
“At Age UK, we have consistently warned Ofgem that a quarterly price cap represents a significant risk to many older consumers. We are very concerned that a January price rise will hit consumers with a bill increase during the coldest period of the year – no doubt leading to many more people risking their health by turning their heating down or off altogether. After enduring a tough autumn of higher prices, consumers will be forced to go through one of the worst winters in the energy market in living memory without the reassurance the cap usually provides.
“Estimates suggest the typical consumer will be spending over £3,600 on their annual bill after the expected cap increase in January, almost doubling prices compared with today. Ofgem must rethink its decision to enact quarterly price cap changes this winter and the Government needs to rapidly step-up financial support for those of all ages struggling on the lowest incomes. It is also essential that the Government sticks to its promise and reinstates the triple lock next year to protect the value of the State Pension and provide a safety net for the many older people who literally have nothing left to cut back on.
“In the meantime, we’re urging any older person who is struggling to get in touch in case they are entitled to some extra financial support. Successfully claiming Pension Credit will not only boost your income but if you make your claim as soon as possible you could be entitled to additional support of up to £800 through cost-of-living payments and the Warm Home Discount, alongside other financial help – this could make a huge difference to older households struggling with rocketing bills this winter.”