Energy crisis: can you still avoid UK households to freeze or starve this winter?

2 September 2022


The escalating price of energy is unprecedented and will likely result in a significant impact on the health of the nation. The UK currently faces a terrible cost-of-living crisis, risking putting millions of households into fuel poverty. Ofgem, the energy regulator, has officially confirmed our biggest fears. The new energy price cap will increase by 80% in October. For a typical household, energy bills will rise from £1,971 to £3,549 a year from the 1st October. About 4.5 million households that are on a prepayment plan will see an increase from £2,017 to £3,608 a year. People will be left with an impossible choice between skipping lunch & dinner to heat their home and living in a cold, damp house.

The energy price cap limits the amount that energy suppliers can charge a domestic customer on a standard variable tariff for gas and electricity in England, Wales and Scotland (known as the unit rate per year). It also restricts the standing charge, which allows people to be connected to the energy grid.  

The rise of energy price is expected to put 1 in 3 people in fuel poverty when the new energy cap comes into effect. Many households won’t be able to afford to heat their home to an adequate temperature. Eon UK, the national energy company, suggests that almost one in eight households are currently struggling to pay their bills. This figure is likely to increase to 40% from October.

Most people’s last hope to face this winter is to get support from the government to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. Households, especially the most vulnerable, are desperate to hear the government’s financial support plan to reduce fuel bills. It was announced that all UK households will receive a £400 discount on their bills from October and low-income households will receive an extra £650, but this was before the magnitude of the latest price increases was known. There are further payments of £300 for pensioners and £150 to people with qualifying disabilities potentially available.

However, this isn’t enough. A recent study published alarming data, it is expected that one in four people won’t turn their heating on this winter. More than 2,000 UK adults were asked to complete a questionnaire on how they will respond to the significant rise of energy bills this winter. The survey revealed that:

  • 23% of respondents said they will not switch on the heating at all this winter.

  • 70% of respondents said they will heat less their home to reduce cost.

  • 11% of respondents are thinking of getting a loan to cover the extra cost.

The energy price cap increase highlights that we need more than ever a national plan to face the cost-of-living crisis. This means emergency financial support for all households around the country, especially for those who are the most vulnerable, with pre-existing health conditions, disabilities and dependents. We also need to make our homes more efficient to reduce the demand for heat and invest in renewable energy generation which is cleaner and now nine times cheaper than natural gas.

Home insulation and low carbon heating measures are crucial for reducing the demand for heat, reducing fuel bills, and tackling carbon emissions. Every private & social landlord as well as homeowner needs to consider installing the following measures:  improved thermal insulation for roofs, external walls, ground floors, doors, and windows, as well as considering solar panels and low-carbon heating such as heat pumps instead of gas boilers. Q-Bot’s underfloor insulation is a non-intrusive measure using a small robot to go under the floor and spray insulation to the underside of floorboards. The unique measure increases SAP scores (between 2 to 12 points), eliminates draughts (by 30% on average), cuts carbon emissions, improves thermal comfort (by 77% on average) and reduces heating costs (by £250/yr at April’s 2022 price).

Ofgem recently announced the energy price cap will be recalculated every quarter to reflect on current market volatility, instead of every 6 months. That new price cap is predicted to rise by a further 50 to 60% in January.

Please contact us to find out if your home could be suitable for Q-Bot’s Robotic Underfloor Insulation.


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