Energy bills are expected to soar to £1,900 from April, following the energy cap increase.
Under plans that will be finalised this week by industry regulator Ofgem, the average energy bill will go up 48 per cent, from £1,277 to £1,897, the Telegraph reported.
Sources have reported that the move will put ministers under pressure to achieve measures such as removing VAT from energy bills in order to help families face price jumps. Removing VAT would could save households on a standard tariff £90 a year, but it’s being opposed by the Treasury as it would cost £2.5bn, the paper reported.
According to Utilita Energy’s chief executive Bill Bullen, the government should avoid tampering with the energy market, focusing instead on protecting households through welfare schemes such as the Warm Home Discount scheme.
“We would prefer the government to act, rather than come in with a behind the scenes scheme, trying to insulate the entire market from high wholesale prices,” he told City A.M. exclusively. ” That could be a scheme you never get out of. It might not be a short-term thing: it might be a long run thing.”
Bullen also added that a price hike could help consumer cut down on their energy usage, boosting the green economy transition.
“There are behavioural changes that make a significant difference to your carbon footprint and your energy bill, and it’s absolutely fair for supply companies to be saying that,” he said.
Bullen is not the only energy expert to encourage a behavioural change in consumers.
Speaking on Utilita’s Energy Bulletin podcast, Jim Garrett, chief operations officer at failed energy supplier Orbit Energy, told households to consider changing behaviour, City A.M. reported.
“We need to invest in carbon neutral technologies to improve the energy efficiency of the country’s housing stock, but there has to be a focus on those who are least able to make those changes – tenants can’t be ignored – those who don’t own their home need help to improve the energy efficiency of their property,” he said.
Several energy companies have recently been in hot water after they provided unhelpful examples to customers’ complaints.
Ovo received social media backlash as it told customers to cuddle pets or do hula-hoop competitions to keep warm, while E.ON Next was forced to apologise after it sent customers socks a joke.