Energy rescue plan won’t address extra disability costs

3 mins read

Thursday 8 September 2022

The cost of an average household energy bill will be capped at £2,500 for two years from 1 October, Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced.

The new energy price guarantee applies to households with typical energy usage on a standard, non-fixed tariff. See more information about this below.

The one-off £400 payment for all UK households with an electricity supply announced in May 2022 will still go ahead.

The taxpayer-funded plan is the latest government support package to help households tackle soaring energy bills. The energy price cap – the maximum amount utility companies can charge for average usage on standard tariffs – had been due to rise to £3,549 from 1 October for households in England, Scotland and Wales. Northern Ireland is in a distinct energy market to the rest of the UK.

Amanda Batten, CEO of Contact, says: “While this represents a welcome package of support, it does not address the extra energy costs families with disabled children face due to running life-saving electrical equipment.

“These costs have rocketed since the April price cap increase. Families we support estimate they now pay nearly £1,600 extra per year running life-saving and other health-related equipment. Electrical equipment like adjustable beds, ventilators and SATs monitors are critical for safety and can’t be switched off.

“There needs to be an immediate increase in disability benefits, as well as an Energy Assistance Payment to replace the local NHS medical grants for equipment like oxygen concentrators. This will help ensure those who need vital equipment for their survival, dignity and health get the financial help they need.”

What is the energy price guarantee?

The new energy price guarantee caps the amount an energy supplier can charge for average usage on its standard rate.

It is not a cap on your household bill, which depends on your usage. If you are on standard rate, but your usage is higher than average, your energy bill could be more than £2,500.

Watch an explainer from money expert Martin Lewis.