Rising energy bills in the UK could be the final nail in the financial coffin for many Brits who are already struggling to meet the cost of living, Citizens Advice has said.
Earlier this week, it was suggested that British Gas could be increasing prices for its 12 million customers by an average of £100 per year in the coming weeks.
And with this just the start of what is expected to be a uniform increase from the big six energy companies, homeowners’ finances will be squeezed ever tighter.
‘Perfect storm of price rises, wage freezes and benefit curbs’
Citizens Advice Chief executive Gillian Guy said that the latest round of increases could see Brits’ financial health significantly damaged, with many who have been struggling to stay afloat finally being pushed over the edge and not being able to afford their bills.
“A fresh round of energy price rises could be the nail in the coffin for people’s household budgets – many are already being pushed to breaking point by a perfect storm of price rises, wage freezes and benefit curbs.
“As hard-pressed consumers brace themselves for higher costs, it’s clear that energy companies must do more to make bills more affordable,” Guy said.
High profits are ‘hard to justify’
Guy went on to add that the prices being charged by energy companies are serving to increase their profit margins further. It was recently reported that the profit made by the big six from each UK household doubled in the space of the last 12 months.
She said that it was difficult to see the reasoning behind this when there was little change in what is on offer to consumers as a result of ever increasing prices.
“It’s hard to justify high profits when rising bills mean that many families have to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table. Energy firms must keep price rises to a minimum and make sure that any drops in wholesale costs are passed on to customers,” she concluded.