Calls on Government to introduce an energy social tariff

Tue,3 October 2023
News Climate change Equality & Rights
A coalition of more than 140 organisations including Age UK, Citizens Advice, Energy Action Scotland, MoneySavingExpert and Scope have written to the government calling on them to take immediate action to support vulnerable households with their energy bills this winter.

The letter supported by many MPs including Angus MacNeil, the chair of the energy, security and net zero-committee has called for an urgent consultation on an energy social tariff, noting that households this year face “impossibly high energy bills”, which experts warn will continue for the rest of the decade.

DR UK as part of the Disability Poverty Campaign Group have also been writing to Government, sending a letter to Energy and Net Zero secretary Claire Coutinho asking for a consultation on a social tariff and urgent  financial support to assist with energy bills for Disabled people in poverty and those with high energy use.

The government has pledged to consult on a social tariff, this  being promised in last year’s autumn statement, however the consultation was not included in a range of changes to the energy market which were proposed over the summer.

Despite the energy price cap falling from the current £2,074 to £1,923 from October 1st for the average dual fuel customer, household energy bills are expected to be around 13% more expensive on average than they were last winter.

The Government recently announced that this winter, additional targeted support will be available to those most in need through their Warm Home Discount – with 3 million of the most vulnerable households expected to benefit from this, however one third of UK adults say they expect to struggle to afford their heating bills this winter.

Martin Lewis, founder of, said: “A typical house now pays a once unthinkable, still unaffordable, £2,000 a year for energy – worse, this winter people won’t get the £400 support they did last.

“The energy market is broken – the limited competition there is, hardly impacts what people pay. Even when there was competition, it failed many elderly or vulnerable people unable to take advantage of deals.

“That’s why I’ve long supported a social tariff. It’s why I was excited when the government said it’d bring one in. Now I’m despairing at the deafening silence of inaction. This isn’t trivial, it’s a core well-being issue for millions. The government needs to pull its bloody finger out.”

Dan White policy and campaigns officer at DR UK and one of the leads at the Disability Poverty Campaign group said: “Disabled households are already expecting to struggle to heat their homes this winter because the cost of energy is unaffordable.”

The government simply cannot delay the introduction of a social tariff any longer. Of all those who will be affected by another miserable winter, Disabled people are going to be the hardest hit. Making tough choices again, such as deciding between whether to charge their wheelchair, have a wash or keep the heating off.”

“Energy debt has soared by 70% over the last three years, and current Cost of living payments are inadequate and insulting. It’s vital that low-income, Disabled and vulnerable households are protected.”