If the crisis in Ukraine leads to higher energy bills, charities are warning that the number of energy-poor households in the UK will double in one year.
Analysts predict that wholesale prices will rise due to the war, and that could mean the UK’s average domestic bill hits £ 3,000 in October.
The National Energy Action says 8.5 million households will be severely affected by the fuel bill.
That would be double the number a year ago, equivalent to 30% of the house.
Charity Age UK says such an increase would have a “devastating” effect on the health and well-being of older people, many of whom may not be warm for weeks.
In England, Wales and Scotland, gas and electricity prices for ordinary households have already risen 54% since the beginning of April to about £ 2,000, based on a tariff controlled by the price cap of energy regulator Offgame. Prices are also rising rapidly in Northern Ireland.
A string of energy analysts have predicted that the conflict in Ukraine, and the knock-on for gas supplied by Russia, could have a relatively lasting effect on the wholesale price of energy.
UK suppliers, and ultimately consumers, are not exempt from global inflation, although Russia supplies about 5% of the UK’s gas supply.
Analysts have suggested that the price of the offgame could be reflected in the next calculation of the cap, which will take effect in early October. Many, including suppliers’ own businesses, say the average family’s bill could be closer to £ 3,000 a year.
The National Energy Action, which campaigns for warmer, drier homes, said the number of households in energy poverty was already expected to rise to 6.5 million from four million in October 2021 after the April price hike.
It will go up to .5 8.5 million again in October this year, if the general bill increases to £ 3,000. Due to the instability of the war, the international picture and the wholesale prices this is a possibility but still far from certain.
The definition of charitable energy poverty is a family that has to spend more than 10% of their household income on fuel to heat their home to a satisfactory standard. Similar definitions are used officially in some parts of the UK, although the definition of fuel poverty used by the government in England is a more complex calculation.
National Energy Action has joined 50 charitable and campaign groups to call for government support for financially expanding bill-payers.
The Coalition claims that further price increases could lead to more premature deaths across the UK next winter.
“It simply came to our notice then. The government must act now to protect the most vulnerable and save lives, said Adam Schuer, chief executive of the National Energy Action.
An official spokesman said: “It is difficult to predict that the current situation in Ukraine will have a long-term effect on energy consumption. However, the fuel price cap will keep millions of consumers away from volatile global gas prices.
“We are taking decisive action to help more than 27 million households, including rising fuel costs, with a 200 200 bill reduction and an 150 150 irreversible reduction in council tax bills this autumn.”