Published: Friday, 26th August 2022

Ofgem’s announcement today that the energy price cap will rise to £3,549 will plunge thousands more families into fuel poverty.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich is calling for urgent action now, including a freeze on the price cap for households and emergency support for local businesses facing colossal energy bills this winter.

Cllr Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “It’s shameful that, as one of the richest countries in the world, people are having to make impossible choices between paying their energy bills this winter and putting food on the table. This isn’t an overnight crisis – it is a systemic problem which needs to be tackled at the very top.

“Just yesterday I visited Greenwich Library, one of our warm spaces for residents this winter, and spoke to local people who are already using our services to avoid using energy in their homes. We will continue to do everything we can to support residents, but we need Central Government to urgently step up and show real leadership instead of shirking responsibility yet again and leaving local authorities and charities to pick up the pieces.”

Already in Royal Greenwich we are seeing the devastating impact of the cost of living crisis. Nearly 1,000 residents have already told us how the crisis is affecting them via our live survey: 41% are already cutting back on their energy costs, nearly 50% are cutting back on food and grocery shopping with 26% admitting they had already skipped meals this month because of the crisis.

The South East London Community Energy Co-op (SELCE), which provides free energy advice and support and which the Council helps to fund, has been overwhelmed with new clients and seen a threefold increase in use of its services over the past year.

Dr Giovanna Speciale, CEO of SELCE, said: “My team has been working tirelessly to support people to get the best deals and discounts and improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Although every kWh or pound saved will help, there is no energy advice or draft-busting measure that can reduce bills by £2,000 this winter. Cold homes cost lives. Our dependence on gas, the government’s failure to support renewable energy and insulate homes, makes this crisis entirely predictable. Their piecemeal response is wholly inadequate.”

In Royal Greenwich, charities, food banks, local voluntary groups, advice agencies, council staff and local people are working hard to make sure everyone can access the support they need. To help those in need as bills rise the council has shared key information online: