Now Nadhim Zahawi tells people they will have to start RATIONING their energy use to save money ‘because there is a war on’ – after 24m Britons are left facing a 80% energy price cap rise in October

  • Chancellor said ‘the reality is we should all look to our energy consumption’ 
  • Price cap rise will send average household’s yearly bill up from £1,971 to £3,549 
  • Today Martin Lewis warned people could die this winter due to high energy costs

Nadim Zahawi today advised Britons to start cutting their energy usage because ‘there’s a war on’ – after Ofgem confirmed an 80 per cent rise in the price cap which will send the average household’s yearly bill rocketing from £1,971 to £3,549. 

The move will affect 24million Britons from October 1, while the 4.5million on pre-payment meters – who are often the most vulnerable and already in fuel poverty – could see even higher average bills of £3,608. 

Asked by broadcasters if it was time for people to look at their energy use, the Chancellor said: ‘The reality is that we should all look at our energy consumption. It is a difficult time. There is war on our continent.

‘Very few people anticipated war. Wars happen in far-flung places. It is now here with us. We have to remain resilient. My responsibility is to deliver that help.’

Nadim Zahawi said: ‘The reality is that we should all look at our energy consumption. It is a difficult time. There is war on our continent’

Mr Zahawi acknowledgeD the increase in the price cap would cause ‘stress and anxiety’ for people, but that the Government was working ‘flat out’ to develop more options to support households.

‘While Putin is driving up energy prices in revenge for our support of Ukraine’s brave struggle for freedom, I am working flat out to develop options for further support,’ he said.

‘This will mean the incoming prime minister can hit the ground running and deliver support to those who need it most, as soon as possible.’

Today MoneySavingExpert founder Martin Lewis warned people could die this winter because they could not afford to pay for their energy. 

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I’ve been accused of catastrophising over this situation. Well, the reason I have catastrophised is this is a catastrophe, plain and simple.

‘If we do not get further government intervention on top of what was announced in May, lives will be lost this winter.’

The consumer champion also said the latest rise in the cap means some people will pay up to £10,000 a year in bills. 

And he warned that there is no cap on the maximum you pay – but the cap is actually a maximum cost per unit that firms can charge for gas and electricity. Currently, this equates to £1,971 a year for the average home.

 

Ofgem said that from October 1 the equivalent per unit level of the price cap to the nearest pence for a typical customer paying by direct debit will be 52p per kWh for electricity customers and a standing charge of 46p per day. 

The equivalent per unit level for a typical gas customer is 15p per kWh with a standing charge of 28p per day.

Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley warned of the hardship energy prices will cause this winter and urged the incoming prime minister and new Cabinet ‘to provide an additional and urgent response to continued surging energy prices’. He also said that the gas price this winter was 15 times more than the cost two years ago.

The regulator said the increase reflected the continued rise in global wholesale gas prices, which began to surge as the pandemic eased, and had been driven still higher by Russia slowly switching off gas supplies to Europe.

Ofgem also warned that energy prices could get ‘significantly worse’ next year. The regulator said that some suppliers might start increasing the amount that direct debit customers pay before October 1, to spread out payments, but any money taken by suppliers will only ever be spent on supplying energy to households.

Philippe Commaret, the managing director of energy giant EDF, has warned that half of UK households could be in fuel poverty in January as a result of rocketing prices. And the Trades Union Congress has said energy bills will rise 35 times faster than wages and 57 times faster than benefits in the last three months of this year.

Which? has urged the Government to raise its energy bills discount by at least 150 per cent or risk pushing millions of people into financial distress. The consumer watchdog said Ministers’ financial support for all households must increase from the current £400 to £1,000 – or from £67 to £167 per month from October to March.

However, no immediate extra help will be announced by Boris Johnson’s Government, with major financial decisions being postponed until either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak is in No 10 after the Tory leadership contest.

Miss Truss pledged ‘immediate support’ to help with soaring bills if she becomes prime minister, saying she would use an emergency budget next month to ‘ensure support is on its way to get through these tough times’. Miss Truss and her rival Mr Sunak have also both pledged to continue a £15billion support package unveiled in June.

 The charity National Energy Action said the number of UK households in fuel poverty will have doubled in a year when the October cap rise takes effect. It calculates that 8.9million homes will be in fuel poverty from October – up from 4.5 million last October – and also takes into account the Government’s support package revealed in May.

The charity National Energy Action said the number of UK households in fuel poverty will have doubled in a year when the October cap rise takes effect

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