Millions of Britons at risk of poverty, cold deaths at home as energy prices soar

A British charity is warning that millions of people in the UK are at risk of poverty and death, after the national energy regulator announced that UK energy bills were set to rise by 80 per cent for consumers. consumers.

Ofgem announced that the energy price cap will rise to £3,549 ($6,017) a year in October, up from the current figure of £1,971 ($3,348) and almost tripling last year’s average of £1,277 ($2,164). ).

National Energy Action Executive Director Adam Scorer told Reuters that with cooler temperatures and winter only months away, cold homes could lead to more deaths.

“10,000 people die each year in the UK directly from a cold home. That number is going to skyrocket,” Scorer said.

“We are going to have another epidemic of cold homes across the UK. It has a cost in mental health, in poor health.”

Scorer warned that the new price hike was a “disaster” that could plunge 9 million households into energy poverty, which occurs when a household spends more than 10 percent of its income on energy bills.

“It is simply unaffordable for millions of people in Britain, and has already caused massive amounts of deprivation, debt, anxiety and pain, and it will only get worse as we head into winter,” he said.

The charity reported that households battled summer price increases by avoiding cooking or cleaning.

A middle-aged woman reviews paper at a small table in a plain-looking apartment.
Jennifer Jones sorts through her accounts in her small London apartment. Like millions of others, she is struggling to cope with skyrocketing energy prices during Britain’s worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation.(AP Photo: Frank Augstein)

Analysis from energy consultancy Cornwell Insights shows that the upward trajectory of household energy bills is set to accelerate.

He forecasts bills could reach 6,616 pounds ($11,212) a year in April next year, before falling to 5,897 pounds ($9,999) a year in July.

Price spikes are increasing pressure on already stretched family budgets.

They are also cited as a main factor contributing to rising inflation, which reached 10.1 percent in the year to July, marking the fastest pace since 1982.

Next prime minister called to stop the crisis

Ofgem chief executive Jonathon Brearley said the UK’s next prime minister must take immediate action once he is in office next month.

“It is clear that the new prime minister will need to do more to address the impact of the price increases that will come in October and next year,” Brearley said.

The two Conservative Party candidates vying for the leadership, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak, will travel the country campaigning until September 5, when party members will choose the next prime minister.

A spokesman for Mrs Truss, who is the leading candidate to replace Boris Johnson, said she would focus on supporting families and businesses during the cost of living crisis.

“Today’s announcement will cause great concern to many people across the UK who will be concerned about paying their bills,” the spokesman said.

“As prime minister, Liz would make sure people get the support they need to get through these tough times.”

A man and a woman gesture as they stand behind podiums on a blue-lit stage.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss at the BBC Conservative Party leadership debate on 25 July.(Reuters: Jacob Rey)

The Labor Party’s shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rachel Reeves, criticized the pair for failing to present clear plans to rein in rising energy prices.

“The two people who want to be the next leader of the Conservative Party [Party] They’ve been touring the country for the last few weeks outlining their policies on just about everything, aside from the biggest problem facing our country right now, which is these astronomical increases in gas and electricity prices,” Reeves told the BBC.

Labor has pledged to freeze prices for six months using profits from North Sea oil and gas companies.

The Conservative government faces mounting pressure to put more downward pressure on soaring household energy bills.

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