“Energy companies should not cut people off”
County Cllr Julie Gibson, the Labour Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Development has called on energy companies not to disconnect people if they are struggling to pay their energy bills. Her call comes this week as it was announced that many bills could rise to approximately £3,500 in October this year and more than £4,200 in January, with many reports suggesting that energy bills are set to cost more than two months of average take home pay.
Cllr Gibson said: “We have seen many examples this week of people cutting back and, in some cases, selling possessions so that they have enough money to pay their energy bills. If the reported increases do come into force many people will experience terrible fuel poverty with the additional worry that if they cannot afford to pay their bills, then they may face their supply being disconnected.”
She continued: “We need action to deal with the energy price cap but so far, we have seen little, or no action from the Government, with the Prime Minister more concerned with his holiday plans than giving assurances that he will intervene in the energy crisis. By contrast under plans announced by Labour we would see a freeze on the energy price cap in Autumn with the level remaining at £1,971. We would also see a windfall tax on the astronomical profits being made by the energy companies and a plan to invest more in home grown, cleaner energy such as solar, wind, and hydrogen power.”
She continued: “But what we really need is a moratorium on the threat of disconnection, with assurances given to those struggling that they will not be “cut off” for the duration of the energy crisis. During Covid we saw a moratorium on evictions for people who struggled to pay their rent; surely it is not beyond us as a society to show some similar compassion to those struggling with rising energy prices during this cost-of-living crisis.”