Voters want energy bill reduction for vulnerable houses

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By Creative Media News

  • Voters urge aid for vulnerable with energy costs
  • 57% support social tariff for cheaper energy
  • Next government urged to prioritize energy relief

Voters have urged the future administration to assist the most vulnerable with their energy expenses.

According to the advocacy organization Warm This Winter, over two-thirds (57%) of the population wants to see a social tariff introduced to provide cheaper energy to people in true need.

While 32% were undecided or did not know whether they supported the measures, only 11% rejected them.

A social tariff is a lower energy payment for people who are low-income and old, have young children, or rely on energy for medical reasons.

Starting on July 1, the average annual energy cost, currently £1,690, will drop to £1,568.

However, those who can least afford them, such as the elderly and disabled, who frequently require more power for heating and medical equipment, bear some of the most expensive energy bills.

Discounted social tariffs are common in internet and mobile phone services, but only because communications regulations require corporations to provide them.

However, energy companies started eliminating social tariffs for gas and electricity in 2011.

There is limited government assistance available, such as the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which provided qualifying households with a £150 payment last winter; however, this covered less than 10% of the average yearly expense. 

Despite widespread support for energy social tariffs, they have not been included in any of the political parties’ 2024 general election manifestos. Meanwhile, the Labour manifesto remains unpublished.

Last year, the cross-party House of Commons Energy Security and Net Zero Committee of MPs advocated the implementation of social tariffs, as well as other reforms to help poor households stay warm during the winter.

Supporters from all parties backed the plans, with 68% of 2019 Labour supporters, 60% of 2019 Liberal Democrats, and 54% of 2019 Conservative voters backing a social tariff. 

The policy is most popular in Scotland (61%), and even in London, more than half support the measures (51%).

A quarter of voters said the energy business (producers, networks, and suppliers) should fund the policy entirely.

A similar amount supported a combination of government financing and energy industry contributions.

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Warm This winter, it was reported that corporations have gained more than £427 billion in profits since the beginning of the energy bill issue, an increase of £7 billion from the latest update in April 2024.

Simon Francis, coordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, stated: “Protecting vulnerable consumers from energy prices that remain significantly higher than 2021 levels is a popular and simple policy that the next government must prioritize.”

Warm This winter, spokesman Fiona Waters stated: “Energy bills will rise again in October, and years of staggering prices have taken their toll.”

This is why we need the next government to move fast after the election to stop energy debt, safeguard households from the uncertain global energy market, permanently lower bills, raise housing standards, and transform Britain into a clean energy superpower.

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