Citizens Advice Bassetlaw

by | 18 November 2021 | Citizens Advice, Community Focus, Retford, Retford Life

Citizens Advice warns people will face ‘desperate choices’ this winter without targeted support. People who have been moved to a new energy company because their supplier has gone bust stand to pay nearly £30-a-month more for their energy, according to new research by Citizens Advice.
The energy price cap increased on 1st October by £139 for people on default tariffs and £153 for people on prepayment meters.
Citizens Advice is particularly concerned about people on the lowest incomes who could be hit by a triple-whammy of financial hardship: rising energy costs, a planned cut of £20-a-week to their Universal Credit and a higher cost of living due to inflation. On top of this, Citizens Advice has raised concerns that 1.1 million households could lose out on the Warm Home Discount of £17.40-a-week when automatically moved to a new energy supplier.
Frontline advisers at the charity say they fear many will be left facing desperate choices due to fuel poverty this winter, including turning off their freezers, relying on hot water bottles for warmth and requesting support to buy extra blankets.
Shaun is a single dad from Worksop with a son in primary school. He previously worked as a gardener, but has had to take time off due to health issues. Shaun is worried: “I’m terrified thinking about how I’m going to cope this winter. If my Universal Credit is cut and bills go up, I just won’t have the extra to pay for any increase on my gas and electricity.
“It’s starting to get colder and I’ll need the heating on for my son. I’ll just have to wrap up when he’s at school, so I can put it on when he gets home. Even then I’ll only be able to have it on for a couple of hours, not the whole evening.”
As the cost-of-living crisis begins to bite, Citizens Advice is calling on the government to reverse its planned cut to Universal Credit and introduce emergency winter grants for those on the lowest incomes.
Emily Simpson, Team Leader for Energy at Citizens Advice Bassetlaw, said: “Overnight price hikes will be a shock for more than a million households whose energy companies have gone bust. We’re particularly worried about those who’ll face desperate choices this winter because of the impact of soaring bills, the planned cut to Universal Credit and inflation.
“The Government and Ofgem must guarantee that the Warm Home Discount will be continued for people moving to new energy suppliers. People on the lowest incomes should be able to access emergency winter grants so they can stay warm in the cold months ahead.”
For information on energy grants or advice and support with any debt, or simply to find out more about what Citizens Advice Bassetlaw has to offer, please call them on 01909 498892 or email