'People in genuine fear over price cap rise', says ScottishPower chief

Keith Anderson has warned of tough conditions for households getting 'much, much worse' before they get better.

‘People in genuine fear over price cap rise’, says ScottishPower chief Google Maps

The chief executive of ScottishPower has warned that people’s concern about how they will make ends meet when the price cap goes up is turning to “genuine fear”.

From October, the average annual bill is expected to reach over £3,500.

The energy price cap is then expected to jump again in January next year, with bills forecast to hit over £4,200.

A protest was held outside the headquarters of Scottish Power in Glasgow on Friday, amid calls for the rise to be halted.

Keith Anderson, the chief executive of the company, has now urged the UK Government to double the support packages that it put in place earlier this year.

And he warned that tough conditions for UK households are going to get “much, much worse before they get better”, as well as lasting for longer than “any of us could have expected”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Nadhim Zahawi met with energy bosses in a roundtable meeting at No 11 Downing Street last week.

“People’s concern about how they’re going to make ends meet when the price cap goes up at the start of October is palpable, and turning to genuine fear,” said Anderson.

“We should look to the lessons of the pandemic to offer support on the size and scale needed to see households through the worst of the pain this winter and over the course of the next two years.”

Downing Street has so far refused to pledge any further financial support for those in need ahead of the election of the new Conservative Party leader.

Either Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak will be announced as the new prime minister of the UK on September 5.

Anderson suggested that a “deficit fund” could be established in tackling the crisis.

He said: “Alongside other support measures, the Government could set up a deficit fund to cover the difference between what people pay and how much it costs to supply their homes with gas and electricity.

“The fund could be underwritten by the Government, or a willing financial institution, and repaid over a 10 to 15-year period to smoothe out the costs.

“We can use the time to speed up investment in cheap green energy, to cut energy use and emissions by more ambitious energy efficiency programmes, and to make progress in delinking electricity prices from gas, to better reflect the use of cheaper green energy in our mix.”

He added: “Britain has rightly stood up for Ukraine, standing united with those in need and we must continue to do.

“But we must also support people here during these unprecedented times.”

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