Sheffield residents face ‘runaway energy bills’ in 2022 warn Liberal Democrats

Hard pressed families struggling to cope with household bills are facing a massive price hike in fuel bills, say Sheffield councillors.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 1:57 pm

There’s a stark warning from Liberal Democrat councillors that 2022 will be a very difficult year due to a rise in the energy price cap.

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The Lib Dems predict families will end up paying an extra £195 each over the coming year.

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Sheffield Lib Dem Leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed says residents face rocketing energy prices in 2022.

More than 26 energy suppliers have folded since prices started to spike in September, meaning nearly four million customers had to transfer to a new supplier.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng held emergency meetings this week with the major energy suppliers, who are believed to have asked the government for tax cuts and the relaxation of green levies.

The industry’s trade body Energy UK warned bills could increase by a further 50 per cent without government intervention.

Sheffield Lib Dem Leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said: “This is possibly the worst Christmas gift many Sheffield residents will be receiving from Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government.

“Fears of runaway household bills in the New Year have been mounting since rising gas prices began bankrupting suppliers in September. Since then, prices have risen from 54p per therm of gas to £4.50.

“Many residents are already struggling with almost two years of Covid lockdowns and loss of income and some now face the stark choice this winter between eating or heating.

“As this is an emergency, we need action now so the Government must double and extend the Warm Home Discount to help the most vulnerable households with their heating bills.”

The Lib Dems are calling for a new long term home insulation programme to cut bills permanently, end fuel poverty and reduce emissions.

Labour wants the government to remove VAT on domestic gas and electricity bills completely through the winter months to help ease the burden on household bills.

The Government says it is supporting vulnerable households with the cost of energy through initiatives such as the warm home discount, which is being increased to £150 and extended to cover an extra 750,000 households, winter fuel payments, and cold weather payments.