With millions worried about rising energy costs and suppliers being asked to justify price hikes, we’re calling on the Chancellor to stand up for consumers when he delivers his Autumn Statement on 4 December.
On 4 December, you will stand up in the House of Commons and deliver your Autumn Statement.
This is an opportunity to do two things that would help the almost eight in 10 people already worried about energy costs:
- Cut the Big Six suppliers down to size to get more competition into the energy market, and
- Cut the cost of government energy policies that we can’t afford.
Why act now?
Consumers have been left reeling by the recent round of inflation busting price hikes. Last week four in 10 told us they can’t reduce energy use any further as they have already cut down as much as they can. And three in 10 don’t know how they will afford to heat their homes this winter.
And British Gas told us that their price rise meant around only £2 a week extra, but the average household is only able to save just over double that – £5.20 per week – so that £2 halves what people can put away for a rainy day.
People need your help – and they need it now.
But to be clear, we don’t want to see any drop in the support for the fuel poor. We don’t want to see changes that continue to let suppliers off the hook. And we don’t want to see energy efficiency abandoned – it is too important for keeping costs under control in the long term.
So what can you do? You can use the Autumn Statement to:
Cut the Big Six down to size by:
- Committing to separating energy generation from supply: wholesale costs are the biggest part of the eye-watering rises to energy bills that people have faced over the last ten years. The wholesale market must be made more competitive to help keep prices in check.
- Ending the blank cheque for suppliers’ delivery of the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO): they must be held to account for their costs, as we estimate nearly £200m a year could be saved if they delivered more efficiently.
Cut the cost of government energy policies:
- Re-targeting the Energy Company Obligation (ECO): too much is focussed on expensive measures. If the Carbon Savings Obligation prioritised low cost measures instead, it could save between £242m-£363m a year, help at least the same number of households and still meet its carbon targets.
- Scrapping the carbon floor price: it is an unnecessary burden on consumers that does nothing to incentivise low carbon energy production and increases wholesale costs. This would take in the region of £1 billion off bills next year.
- Halting the smart meter roll out: it is a £12bn luxury we cannot currently afford. We should pause for two years, put a cap on the costs and decide how to make the roll out as cost effective as possible. This would save almost £80m a year for two years.
- Taking the Warm Home Discount off consumers’ bills: this could cut bills by over £290m a year.
When you stand up in the House of Commons I hope you will also be standing up for the millions of hard-pressed consumers who are grappling day-to-day with the realities of rising energy costs by cutting both the Big Six and the cost of government policies down to size.
Cut them down, George.
— Which? Campaigns (@WhichCampaigns) October 29, 2013