Some Brits could lose up to £37.40 a week if their energy supplier collapses at the same time as Covid financial aid is ripped away.
Many will face ‘desperate choices’ this winter amid soaring household bills, inflation and the Universal Credit cut, Citizens Advice has said.
The warning comes as the UK’s gas crisis worsens, with almost two million customers impacted after nine firms went bust in September.
Customers of the five largest failed suppliers are set to pay £6.70 more a week when moved on to the default tariffs of a replacement firm.
The energy price cap is due to rise by £139 for people on default tariffs and £153 for people on pre-payment meters on October 1.
Concerns have been raised about those on lower incomes who could be hit by rising energy costs, a cut of £20 a week to Universal Credit and inflation all at once.
Those who lose their Warm Home Discount if it is not carried over when they are moved to a new supplier could be £17.40 a week worse off.
This sum climbs to £37.40 for people also on Universal Credit as the Government ignores protests, insisting the planned chop will go ahead.
A total of 35% of people are worried they will struggle to pay their energy bills this winter, a Citizen Advice survey shows.
This rises to 45% of those earning less than £21,000 per year and 44% of households with children.
Some may have to turn off their fridges and freezers, relying on hot water bottles for warmth and request support to buy extra duvets and blankets.
Chief executive Clare Moriarty said: ‘Overnight price hikes will be a shock for more than a million households whose energy companies have gone bust.
‘We’re particularly worried about those who’ll face desperate choices this winter because of the cumulative impact of soaring bills, the planned cut to Universal Credit and inflation.
‘The Government and Ofgem must guarantee that the Warm Home Discount will be continued for people moving to new energy suppliers. People on the lowest incomes should be able to access emergency winter grants so they can stay warm in the cold months ahead.’
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