Local energy experts The Footprint Trust have welcomed the new Prime Minister’s energy package, which freezes the price cap at £2,500, rather than the proposed rise to £3,549.
But they say long term solutions are needed:
"It is important to note that the price cap is actually a cap on the unit price of gas and electricity, not a cap on the amount you might pay. Despite the cap, the more energy you use, the more you pay.
"A large, poorly insulated home with antiquated heating systems may pay up to £6,500 pa. Also, domestic fuel oil, used in many rural homes, has no cap at the moment but the PM has pledged that a fund will be made available for those consumers, along with those in park homes and on network heating.
"The aid package previously announced will give most consumers a package worth around £550, plus extra help for those on very low income. However, this will still not be enough for those living in poorly insulated older properties, on very low incomes, particularly young families.
“It is important to look for sensible economies, such as zoning your home and turning off vampire appliances that are left on stand-by such as TVs.
“For those households who want to invest to save money, then getting an air fryer can greatly reduce cooking costs. Thermal blinds to windows are another fairly cheap solution to energy loss. The big save would be to have your home insulated if not already carried out.”
Footprint Trust Senior Energy officer, Ray Harrington-Vail said:
“The trust welcomes the government’s commitment to solar and wind energy and green hydrogen production. This along with battery storage will help protect Britain from international market fluctuations. We are, however, concerned about the drive towards exploiting gas reserves, at a time when we need to wean away from dirty and expensive fossil fuels.
“I am aware from discussions with Isle of Wight small businesses and charities that some may have faced closure and have to curtail their activities due to 500% energy price increases. This would impact jobs and lead to further poverty. We are pleased that the government is to act to freeze business and charity tariffs for six months. We hope that this will give time for a more far-reaching package to be researched and implemented.
“In the longer term we have to implement a Social Tariff, whereby households on meagre income have a low unit cost for their energy. The UK has to embark on a massive insulation scheme, aimed at households and businesses, with various incentives to make sure this occurs.”
The Footprint Trust has spent the last 20 years promoting energy efficiency and last year assisted over 2,000 households in cutting their utility bills as well as providing grants and other help. They can be contacted by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 822282.