Charities have called on the government to cut energy bills for the most vulnerable households, as they warn 8.5 million UK households face fuel poverty.

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition (EFPC) issued the call as predations the price cap could go over £3,000 for the winter period emerge due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

At the end of February, Investec Bank estimated that the price cap on energy prices could spike 50% in October on April’s level because of the conflict. Similarly, Cornwall Insight forecasted it to jump to over £2,900 due to the volatility in the European energy market.

The coalition – which represents almost 50 organisations – has therefore called on the Chancellor to announce further measures to support consumers in his Economic Statement in March.

“This is a disaster and inevitably, will lead to more needless winter deaths,” said Adam Scorer, chief executive of fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA).

“Government must address the scale of the problem and use the upcoming Economic Statement in March to cut energy bills much further for the poorest. It must act now, to protect the most vulnerable, and to save lives.”

The default tariff price cap has already jumped 54% for the summer period, rising to £1,971 from April. This was predominantly on the back of gas prices, which grew over 400% in 2021 pushing 27 energy suppliers to collapse (as well as Bulb going into special administration).

Read more: Current+

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