The UK energy price crisis will become “really horrific” without urgent action from Rishi Sunak, the boss of one of Britain’s biggest suppliers has warned.
Scottish Power chief executive Keith Anderson said the Chancellor needed to act urgently and be “much more radical” to limit the impact of rising gas and electricity prices.
Mr Anderson told MPs Scottish Power had been inundated with 8,000 calls in a single week from customers worried they could not afford electricity to their homes.
“I am extremely worried about people; massively worried…there are so many people who are going to really, really struggle.
He added: “There is huge anxiety from people on the phone about what they are going to do and what they are facing… A lot of people are facing this issue for the first time. , they have never been in this position before.
The energy boss said his biggest concern was what would happen in October, when the price cap is set to jump again, bringing the average bill down to almost £2,000 a year.
Although the cap has already increased by 54% this month, consumers are partially cushioned by the impact of warmer temperatures, which means lower energy bills.
“I honestly believe the size and magnitude of this is way beyond what I can handle, what this industry can handle. We need a massive change, a significant change in the government’s approach to this.”
Mr Anderson has called for a deficit fund and a “social tariff” that would replace the much criticized energy price cap.
Under the scheme, vulnerable households and low-income customers would get up to £1,000 a year off their bills.
The money would be repaid by energy consumers and taxpayers over 10 years.
Current government measures have been widely seen as inadequate. The chancellor declined to offer extra support for struggling families in his latest tax and spending announcement.
Mr Sunak has opted to stick with previously announced rebates on council tax bills and a £200 rebate on retail energy bills which will be repaid through a bill levy during of the next five years. Both programs will only cover a fraction of the increases that energy customers face.
With around a third of households expected to struggle to afford adequate heating and electricity this winter, pressure is mounting on the government to do more.
Mr Anderson urged ministers to speed up the transition to renewables, which he said was being held back by inadequate investment and cumbersome planning systems that slow the building of new capacity in the UK than in many other countries .
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine highlighted Europe’s dependence on Russian oil and gas, giving new impetus to the drive for net zero emissions.
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This notice was published: 2022-04-19 10:56:18