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Government Postpones Energy Hike After P3-Supported Campaign

Rachel Reeves 15 March 2023

A P3-supported campaign by money expert Martin Lewis to postpone a 20% energy price hike has been successful after today’s Budget.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced that the Government had responded to the campaign, which was headed by Mr Lewis and backed by over 130 charities and consumer organisations, including P3.
The energy price guarantee (EPG) – the state-subsidised energy rate – will now stay at £2,500 a year for a further three months.
Mr Lewis said: “I’d like to thank the Chancellor for listening. The rise – which would likely only have lasted three months – would have caused disproportionate harm financially and, with more 'price rise' letters, to people’s mental health.
“Of course, this doesn’t mean bills will get cheaper. In April we see the end of the winter energy support – the £66/£67 a month everyone has received to lower their bills. So in practical terms people are still going to pay more than they have been, but at least some of the planned rise has been forestalled.
“Now we have to hope that the current predictions come true, that from July, the current wholesale prices will mean the price cap drops, and therefore bills fall by 19% – a welcome relief to millions."
The Government’s Autumn Statement in November laid out initial plans to increase the EPG by 20% in April.
In February, Mr Lewis published an open letter to the Chancellor, explaining that predictions had changed due to falling wholesale prices and that there was now “significant headroom to enable a postponement. Plus, maintaining a lower EPG will also help reduce inflation.”
He warned: “Without intervention, and soon, the charity National Energy Action predicts that the number of fuel poor households will rise drastically from an already shocking 6.7 million to 8.4 million from April – approaching double the 4.5 million households in this position in October 2021.”
Citizens Advice, StepChange and National Energy Action were among the other organisations to support the call to postpone the price hike.


Photo by Mykola Makhlai on Unsplash