Energy price hike 'will hit Bracknell families'
Published: 16 Oct 2013 11:302 comments
Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) announced last week an average 8.2% rise in domestic energy bills, prompting consumer groups to predict that other major energy suppliers would follow suit.
The company said its average annual dual fuel energy bill would rise by £106 to £1,480 on November 15, while people living in the South East could be hit hardest with a 9.7% increase.
Andy Jackson, director of social justice at the Kerith Community Church in Bracknell, has said its foodbank could see an increased number of clients this winter because they would be spending more money on energy and less on food.
“Any price increase is never good news for people on benefits or lower incomes,” he said.
“It may mean that people may have to choose between heating their own homes or buying food for their families, which is something that shouldn’t be happening in this day and age. It is very difficult for families on tight incomes to deal with increasing energy bills and I’m sure we will be seeing a larger number of people visiting our foodbank over the coming months.”
Mr Jackson has offered advice to residents, saying they should work out what is necessary within their budget and what is not, plus look at switching their energy supplier for a better deal.
“People need to write their budget down on a piece of paper in black and white so it is made easier for them to see what needs to be spent and what doesn’t,” he said.
“Families and other struggling residents should also seek help where it is available. They should also try and shop around for the best deals for energy bills, even though that isn’t always easy.”
SSE has defended its price hike, saying it had no choice after prices of importing gas into the UK had gone up, as well as transporting it to people’s homes.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has pledged a 20-month price freeze on energy bills if his party won the next election but David Cameron claims the plan is a “con” as a Prime Minister had no control over the worldwide price of gas.
If you want advice on managing budgets or information about Bracknell Foodbank, you can call the Kerith on 01344 862699.