Gas firms urged to help elderly and vulnerable avoid huge energy bills this winter

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There are concerns that soaring gas prices could put “significant pressure” on vulnerable people. Ben Jones, chief commercial officer at Sigma Connected, which works with the firms, said: “The energy sector is under huge strain and there are worries across the board with escalating costs on the horizon.

“We must not lose sight of the significant pressures vulnerable people and the elderly are under at this time, particularly as we head into winter.

“Affordability and vulnerability often go hand-in-hand, and energy suppliers ‑ as well as the Government and the regulator ‑ must be laser focused on engaging with these customers whilst ensuring they receive nothing but the best support and guidance.” 

The Government’s cap on energy prices looks set to jump by a further £178 a year from April next year, suggests modelling by market intelligence agency Cornwall Insight.

Its researchers expect the ceiling to rise to £1,455 for the six months beginning from April.

This would be a 14 percent rise from the already record-breaking £1,277 customers will pay between October and April, and up £317 from current levels.

Consumer rights expert Scott Dixon said: “People need urgent help now by the Government to protect against price rises as we come into winter.

“Universal Credit claimants in particular need help right now. The £20 uplift is due to end in a few days time and the Government needs to extend it under the circumstances.”

He continued: “This couldn’t come at a worse time for those who have relied on this uplift throughout the pandemic.

“Vows are meaningless.We urgently need to see action.”

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