One in three UK households could fall into fuel poverty if latest estimates that the average energy bill could reach £3,250 a year become reality, a charity has warned.
Experts at Cornwall Insight said bills could rise from a current record of £1,971, to £3,245 in October and then further to £3,364 at the start of next year.
National Energy Action (NEA) has predicted that, should the average bill reach £3,250 per year, 8.2 million UK households will be in fuel poverty, or one in three.
Energy bills could reach an average of £3,250 per year when the price cap rises in October. Our new figures show that if that happens, the number of UK households in fuel poverty will have almost doubled in a year. #EnergyCrisis #FuelPoverty #OneInThree pic.twitter.com/KVRFPp19uA
— National Energy Action (@NEA_UKCharity) July 21, 2022
The “huge increase” in 12 months followed the average energy bill reaching £1,271 in October last year, at which point 4.5 million UK households were in fuel poverty, the charity said.
To calculate the figure, fuel poverty is defined as homes spending more than 10% of total income on energy.
NEA said it has also taken into account the £400 energy rebate the Government is giving to all households, which was announced in May.
NEA chief executive Adam Scorer said: “Anticipated prices far exceed earlier projections. Current financial support will be inadequate as much of that money will be spent before winter kicks in.
“We are facing the bleakest of winters. Energy bills are already unaffordable for millions, and millions more are set to suffer.
“People will be forced into impossible situations – choosing between heating and eating, forced into spiralling debt, and putting their emotional and physical health at significant risk.
“The energy crisis is the urgent priority for a new prime minister. Higher prices and cold weather are inevitable, dither and delay are not.”