Warnings of 'dramatic and catastrophic winter' with people unable to pay bills

Energy bosses are worried about how Brits are going to get through this winter with the skyrocketing price of gas and electricity.

Ofgem is set to announce the new price cap on Friday, with incredibly bleak predictions forecasting an 82% hike to £3,582 a year.

It would be a massive jump from today’s £1,971 – which is already a record – and much higher than the £1,138 seen last winter.

EDF managing director Philippe Commaret has warned that half of the UK’s households may face living in fuel poverty by January.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We face, despite the support that the Government has already announced, a dramatic and catastrophic winter for our customers.’

Mr Commaret urged ministers to offer more help as he announced an EDF campaign to show customers how to cut their costs.

As it stands there will be £67 knocked off every bill from October for six months, totalling £400, via the Energy Bills Support Scheme.

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National Grid said: ‘Exercise Degree is the latest in a long series of annual exercises which go back to 1996 when the network emergency co-ordinator role was created.

‘The exercises enable National Grid gas, government and industry participants to test the effectiveness of industry-wide emergency arrangements in order to prevent, and (if unavoidable) respond to a gas supply emergency.

‘The network emergency co-ordinator has an obligation to provide assurance to the HSE on the effectiveness of these arrangements. The pre-winter exercises take place every year ahead of winter and have become a routine part of the energy industry’s annual calendar.

‘The arrangements for Exercise Degree were made back in January 2022.’

The Government said: ‘These are standard, industry-led exercises which take place every year, as part of normal preparations for a wide range of scenarios, including those that are highly unlikely to occur.

‘Households, businesses and industry can be confident that the UK’s secure and diverse energy supplies will provide the electricity and gas they need.’

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