With the summer holidays coming to end, we are already starting to think about how we are going to be able to support people through the colder months ahead. The cost-of-living crisis is hurting so many households across High Peak, with many facing up to another winter having to choose between heating and eating.
Last Friday, Ofgem announced the energy cap for the year’s final quarter. Whilst the reduction of the energy price cap to £1,923 is a welcome relief, it is still approximately double what it was before the energy crisis. Energy bills will therefore continue to be unaffordable for many and this Government is simply not doing enough to support those people.
As a council we work closely the Fuel Bank Foundation, which is a charity that supports people on pre-payment meters. Last week we attended a meeting organised by the Fuel Bank Foundation, along with local charity G52, with the Government Energy Minister. The meeting provided an opportunity to give feedback to the Government on a range of issues, including some of the problems with how the energy voucher scheme had operated last year.
We flagged further concerns that whilst smart meters may be able to help some people if you are not computer literate, and especially if you are using a pre-payment meter, there needs to be more support to make sure that their full benefits are available without having to spend many hours on the phone to tackle problems or seek better deals.
We will continue to support the Fuel Bank Foundation to help support people on pre-payment meters, but more help is needed to help those who pay by direct debit and who have off-grid supplies.
The Government needs to stop siding with the oil and gas companies who are making record profits over hardworking British families. A Labour Government would bring in a proper windfall tax on oil and gas giants to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis, alongside our plan to make Britain a clean energy superpower, so we can lower bills for all families and businesses.
Content by: Council Leaders Anthony Mckeown and Damien Greenhalgh