ndustry body Energy UK has demanded the Chancellor set out clearer objectives in offering affordable energy for households facing eye watering hikes in bills over the coming months.
In a letter to the head of the public finances Nadhim Zahawi, Energy UK said that next price cap, which comes into force at the start of October, would exceed £3,500 – rising from the current £1,971
The organisation said this will be the most practical way of providing the support “urgently needed by customers ahead of Christmas”.
Dhara Vyas, Energy UK director of advocacy, said: “Time is running very short ahead of October and we know many customers are already struggling after the last price rise – so the predicted increases will simply be unaffordable for millions of households.
“Given the urgency, our industry believes the most practical way to help customers ahead of Christmas will be to increase the amount of support made through the existing bills support scheme.
“However, energy bills are set to remain high for the foreseeable future so it will be crucial to put something in place that will shield customers from these.”
It said that as high prices are set to persist throughout 2023, Energy UK’s members were also urging the Government to work immediately with industry and financial institutions on introducing a deficit tariff loans scheme.
“Government-backed loans could be used to keep bills down throughout 2023 by covering the increased cost of wholesale energy for suppliers and allowing these to be spread over a much longer period of 10 to 15 years instead,” Energy UK said.
The trade body also added it was calling for the establishment of an “expert energy panel” to look at ways of keeping bills affordable for both domestic and non-domestic customers over the longer term and asks the Government to consider setting up a new dedicated Department of Energy.