Parliament has been advised by energy executives that if the cap on energy costs is lifted further in the fall, as many as four out of ten people in the United Kingdom might be plunged into fuel poverty.
Several companies have urged the government to offer further aid to the most vulnerable households, citing the impending “horrific winter.
The energy regulator, Ofgem, is expected to hike the annual ceiling on energy tariffs for the second consecutive year in October.
Michael Lewis, chief executive officer of E.ON UK, has warned that between 30 and 40 percent of the population may fail to pay their energy bills as a result.
As a result, they will be unable to afford the standard amount of energy needed to sustain their existing lifestyle.
In addition, he forecasts a worrying 50 percent growth in consumer debt over the next several months, totaling to £800 million. He stated that people may incur debt in other aspects of their lives, or they may find themselves unable to put food on the table.
In addition, ScottishPower emphasised the enormous number of daily phone calls they get. These are calls from consumers who are uncertain as to whether they will be able to pay their bills.
Keith Anderson, the business’s chief executive, indicated in a message to members of parliament that the company has received an astounding 8,000 calls from clients facing financial difficulties.
Executives in the energy industry are now pressing the government to create a deficit fund of £1,000 to make up for the gap.
A reduction of £1,000 would be applied to the bills of the poorest and most disadvantaged households in the county. The government or customers would be liable for repaying this amount over a ten-year period.
EDF Energy has also experienced a substantial rise (40 percent) in calls from worried customers.
Simone Rossi, the CEO of EDF, raised similar reservations to those aired by E.ON and ScottishPower.