The boss of Ovo Energy, the UK’s third largest energy firm, has proposed a plan for the government to subsidise bills, with the poorest getting the most support.
Stephen Fitzpatrick said the Government should provide help with bills that taper off for high earners using more electricity.
It comes after Ofgem energy announced that the typical household gas and electricity bill will increase to £3,549 in October.
Under the proposed scheme, energy firms could borrow from a government-backed fund, using the money to subsidise bills.
Speaking to the BBC, Stephen Fitzpatrick said helping low income families with energy bills “has to be the first order of business” for the next prime minister.
He said: “If we don’t use every available moment over the next 12 weeks to solve this, we are going to see a winter like never before with people going hungry and going cold and the NHS being overwhelmed by the health impacts of the energy crisis.
“Over the past ten years, the free market approach has worked to deliver affordable energy for the UK but we should accept that the next ten years are going to look very different.
“We are entering into an era of global competition to secure energy supplies and we need to think strategically, long term and at a national level.
“It is incredibly important that we have a plan that will get us through the winter no matter what. We can’t wait for the cold weather to come to try to figure out what we’re going to do about it.”
The new price cap is a rise of 80% and means millions of people will see a huge rise in the amount they pay for their energy from the start of next month.
Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £1,578 – from £1,971 to £3,549 per year.