British Gas, OVO, EDF, Octopus customers told they should have extra £500 in account

The Ofgem energy price cap could have been £500 lower, campaigners say. Insulating homes, reducing standing charges and removing VAT from energy bills would have reduced the cap to £1,071.98 — £496.62 lower than what the average household is going to be paying, according to an analysis by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition.

Warm This Winter spokesperson Fiona Waters said in a message to British Gas, OVO, EDF, Eon and Octopus customers: “Energy bills will go up again in October and years of staggering prices have taken their toll. Customers are already £2,500 out of pocket because of Britain’s broken energy system and now we know they are going to continue to be penalised if we don’t see the reforms we need.

“As well as the plans to insulate homes, bring down standing charges and provide support through a social tariff, we also need to see new renewables schemes that, according to the House of Commons Library briefings, are able to generate electricity more cheaply than fossil fuels.”

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Steve Vaid, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, which runs the helpline, said: “As millions of people worry about keeping up with their energy payments, arrears levels have continued to increase and many have been left with unaffordable debts as a result.

“What we need to see from the next government is urgent action through a help to repay scheme to help people trapped in energy debt access a safe route out.” Simon Cran-McGreehin, the head of analysis at the ECIU, said: “The UK’s high dependence on gas for electricity generation and heating has cost bill payers £2,000 so far during the gas crisis, and the economy as a whole tens of billions of pounds.”

“Commonsense measures like investing in insulating the poorest homes, switching to electric heat pumps and fast-tracking British renewables will leave us less vulnerable to the whims of the international gas markets,” he said.