Another £145 hike to energy bills in October will leave 14.5m Brits in the dark and cold

18 March 2022, 00:01 | Updated: 18 March 2022, 00:11

Citizens Advice has warned 14.5m Brits won't be able to pay their bills by October
Citizens Advice has warned 14.5m Brits won't be able to pay their bills by October. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

A predicted £145-a-month hike to energy costs set to hit in October could see 14.5 million Brits unable to pay their energy bills, Citizens Advice has warned.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The organisation say one in four UK adults will be unable to afford their bills - equivalent to 14.5 million people - is a massive jump from the five million who already say they cannot afford April's price increase of £60 a month, the charity, which included the Government's support measures in its calculations, said.

Two in five (41%) of those warning they will be pushed into debt next month said they had already borrowed money to pay for essentials.

The latest research found that 83% of those polled did not think the Government's £200 energy rebate, anticipated to be paid into customers' accounts in October and paid back over the following five years, would make a significant difference to their ability to pay their energy bills.

Read more: Energy bills set to hit £3,000 and petrol could reach £1.70 a litre due to Russia crisis

Transport Sec warns over Russian impact on cost of living

People using prepayment meters - many of whom are already on low incomes - were set to be hardest hit by rising energy prices, the charity said, as they were less able to spread the cost of their energy throughout the year and were at greater risk of being disconnected if they could not afford to top up.

Rising energy costs could see an average family on a prepayment meter facing bills of £336 a month - more than £10 a day - in December, when the same usage would have cost them £147 in December 2021, the charity warned.

Citizens Advice chief executive Clare Moriarty said: "These staggering findings must be a wake-up call to the Government. With one in four unable to afford their bills come October, measures announced so far simply don't meet the scale of the challenge.

Read more: 'Tense and difficult' Lindsay Hoyle 'had heated debates' with Bercow but wasn't bullied

"Parents shouldn't have to decide between giving their kids a hot bath or saving the money to buy them new school shoes.

"The Chancellor has a crucial opportunity to bring forward more support for those most in need in his Spring Statement next week.

"Increasing benefits in line with inflation, expanding the Warm Home Discount and announcing a more generous energy rebate should be top of his list."

Read more: Eco activist locks himself to football goalpost in Premier League protest

Nick Ferrari puts Rishi Sunak on the spot over the cost of living

The findings come ahead of next week's Spring Statement, when the Chancellor has been urged to announce further support for families struggling to pay their bills.

Citizens Advice issued a 'red alert' warning last month as demand for its services soared, with its frontline staff helping record numbers access support such as food banks and one-off charitable grants amid the cost-of-living crisis.

In the last week alone, the charity said it had supported a woman who could not afford to top up her prepayment meter after a hospital visit meant she was left with nothing but spoiled food in the fridge and a parent who had to turn off their appliances and wash their children's clothes at their mother's house to save on energy costs.

It had also helped a woman in her 70s with a chronic health condition who had started wearing multiple layers and her duvet to keep warm as she could not afford to turn on her heating.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Trump Hush Money

Twelve jurors confirmed for Trump hush money trial

Exclusive
Jonathan Hall KC admitted refugees have previously been let into the UK without the full checks.

Refugees have been admitted to UK ‘without proper checks’ due to being 'too overwhelmed’, terror watchdog says

Jeremy Clarkson was seen comforting his girlfriend, Lisa Hogan, after tragedy stuck Diddly Squat Farm when two piglets died in an emotional scene captured on an episode of Clarkson's Farm

Jeremy Clarkson comforts sobbing girlfriend after tragedy strikes Diddly Squat Farm in new series

Lord Nick Houghton speaks to LBC’s Andrew Marr.

Ukraine 'is fighting proxy war on behalf of Nato', says ex-military chief as he criticises 'incoherent' defence spending

Peter Murrell has been charged in connection with the embezzlement of funds from the Scottish National Party.

Nicola Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell charged in connection with embezzlement of funds from SNP

Kenya’s military chief General Francis Ogolla

Kenya’s military chief dies in helicopter crash

Sydney Sweeney hit back at the comments about her.

Sydney Sweeney hits back at 'sad and shameful' producer who said she ‘can’t act’ and ‘isn’t pretty’

Exclusive
Jonathan Hall has hit out at WhatsApp over the lowering of the age limit.

UK’s terror watchdog hits out at WhatsApp over lowering of age limit as he says more kids are being radicalised online

Lost Star Trek Model

Long-lost first model of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise finally returned home

Comedy writer Graham Linehan took to X, formerly known as Twitter, said that while plans for the "surefire hit" were underway, "trans activists were busy trying to destroy [his] life."

Graham Linehan rages at trans activists busy trying to 'destroy' his life as he teases Father Ted musical in works

United24 ambassadors

Polish man suspected of aiding Russian plot to assassinate Zelensky arrested

Indonesia Volcano

Thousands evacuated and tsunami alert issued after Indonesian volcano eruption

Mayar Yahia

Heartbroken family pay tribute to 'cherished daughter', 4, killed after being hit by car in Birmingham

Peter Murrell has been re-arrested in connection with a probe into the party's finances.

Nicola Sturgeon's husband Peter Murrell re-arrested in connection with SNP finances investigation

APTOPIX Trump Hush Money

Jury selection enters pivotal stretch as Trump’s hush money trial resumes

Croatia Election

Croatia’s conservatives believe majority is close despite inconclusive vote