Warning rising energy bills could cause 'serious financial damage'

The energy price cap is expected to rise in October.

Warning rising energy bills could cause ‘serious financial damage’ iStock

Soaring energy bills risk causing “serious physical and financial damage” to families across the UK this winter, it has been claimed.

It comes just 24 hours before an announcement on the energy price cap is made by regulator Ofgem on Friday.

The cap, which limits the rates suppliers can charge households on a standard variable tariff for each unit of energy they use, will be in place from October 1 until December 31.

Experts have forecast that the cap could rise by 80% from October to more than £3,500.

It would represent the largest increase seen by consumers, after the cap rose by 54% earlier this year.

Thursday is the last day available for people to update their meter gas readings before the announcement.

There have been calls from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Labour leader Keir Starmer for the UK Government to step in and halt the planned rise in the cap.

However, both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – one of whom will be prime minister in under a fortnight’s time – have so far ruled out a move to stop the cap from rising in October.

No 10 has also refused to commit to further financial support measures for households across the UK that are struggling with the cost of living until a new prime minister is in place on September 6.

The warning over the impact of rising energy bills on families was made by the Resolution Foundation.

In a report, the think tank insisted that the new prime minister must provide “radical” support or people will be put in physical danger.

“A catastrophe is coming this winter as soaring energy bills risk causing serious physical and financial damage to families across Britain,” said Jonny Marshall, a senior economist at the think tank.

“We are on course for thousands to see their energy cut off entirely, while millions will be unable to pay bills and (will) build up unmanageable arrears.

“The new prime minister will need to think the unthinkable in terms of the policies needed to get sufficient support to where it’s needed most.

“Significant additional support should be targeted at those most exposed to rising bills and least able to cope with them, and be watertight so that no-one falls through the cracks.

“But none of the proposals from the leadership candidates or the opposition parties currently do this.”

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