Experts are urging the Government to consider an “emergency energy tariff” to assist the country’s most vulnerable.
Energy bills could be reduced by £87 from their current levels if such a policy is introduced, according to campaigners.
Health, poverty, housing and environmental organisations and academics have written to Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt MP urging him to implement said tariff.
This tariff would use the Energy Price Guarantee to fix the unit costs and standing charges for vulnerable groups at a lower level.
Those in favour of the support believe if the tariff is fixed at the levels of energy bills in winter 2020/21, households’ monthly energy bills will be reduced by approximately £87.
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This equates to a 46 percent saving for the average household and would help many families during the cost of living crisis.
In the letter to Mr Hunt, new research by the Warm This Winter campaign is cited which shows that over a third of people from households where someone is under 5, pregnant, over 65 or with preexisting health conditions are in financial trouble.
Specifically, these groups are certain they will not or may not be able to afford to put the heating on at all this winter.
Some 62 percent of vulnerable households already want to put the heating on but are worried about the cost.
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To support the campaign, a petition for the public to issue their support for the emergency energy tariff has been launched.
Simon Francis, a coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, outlined the reasoning behind the letter and the wider campaign.
He explained: “The reality of this winter is that, without support, we will be a nation sheltering in warm spaces, cowering in one room of our homes or wrapped up inside like the michelin man. This should not be acceptable in a modern society.
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“Failure by the Government to avert this cold homes crisis will lead to pressure on the NHS, a mental health catastrophe and additional winter deaths caused by living in cold damp homes.
“The proposed Emergency Energy Tariff is a specific, targeted, time limited and practically possible intervention which the Chancellor can make to send direct help to households who are most at risk of living in cold damp homes.
“The Government should meet with charities and industry to finalise the details of the proposal.
“It can then use the opportunity of the Autumn Statement to send a clear message to the public that Ministers understand their suffering and are prepared to help them stay warm this winter.”
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