Campaigners ask Ofgem to reduce energy consumption, claiming it could cause deaths

Fuel advocates have written to Ofgem asking it to reduce the standing fees that are rising rapidly.

These fees are set to increase by 80 percent from Friday, at the same time energy bills is also set to rise as a result of over half of the suppliers in the market going bankrupt earlier this year.

Prices are expected to rise from 0.25p to 0.45p with collapsing providers accounting for £ 68 of the £ 75 increase to standing fees.

Fuel Poverty Action called the standing fees “regressive” and said “the poorest consumers pay for negligent policy-making.”

What are standing fees?

These charges are a fixed daily amount that consumers pay to cover the cost of supplying gas and electricity, no matter how much energy they use.

The tariffs pay for costs that are fixed for a supplier, including service administration fees and connection to and maintenance of the energy grid.

There are regional differences, as providers generally set prices based on differences in network charges and the complexity of the network infrastructure in different areas.

This means that the price you pay reflects how much it costs to transport energy to where you live.

What do advocates want to change?

Fuel Poverty Action is now urging Ofgem to reduce these standing fees or get rid of them altogether, claiming that they hit the poorest hardest.

It said that fixed taxes are well known for punishing the poorest energy users who consume less energy.

Studies by Ideal Economics show that the poorest 10 percent will now spend almost a third of their energy payments – around £ 265 – on simply connecting to the energy system.

Instead, advocates are asking for Energy For All, which provides everyone with a free energy supplement to cover the basics of heating, cooking and lighting, taking into account their needs related to their age, health and housing.

It said it could be at least partially funded by an unexpected tax on energy and the withdrawal of subsidies for fossil fuels, which cost the British government millions of pounds every day.

More from Bills

In addition, it is proposed that affluent consumers who can afford to pay for their higher energy consumption in addition to this basic deduction via an increase in the unit tax.

It said that an increase in the unit tax in this way has the additional advantage that it encourages reduced energy consumption and therefore reduced consumption of fossil fuels.

A spokesman for Ofgem said: “Our top priority is to protect consumers, including ensuring that bill payers pay a reasonable price. We know this is a challenging time.

“Customers struggling to pay for energy may be eligible for additional assistance such as debt repayment plans, emergency credit for prepaid customers, priority support and schemes such as Winter Fuel Payment or Warm Home Discount.

“We are also strengthening the retail market through effective stress testing of suppliers, which will reduce costs for companies leaving the market as much as possible.”

Fuel Poverty Action also urges Ofgem to reconsider the use of prepayment meters. These meters are more expensive than standard meters, but are often used by the most financially vulnerable to help them budget their expenses.

It said in the letter: “Continuing these penal policies on fixed fees and prepayment meters in light of current price increases is unacceptable. It will cause death. We ask you to reconsider as soon as possible.”

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