Which? executive director Richard Lloyd has written to Chancellor George Osborne this week to urge him to take urgent action on energy bills in his forthcoming Autumn Statement.
The Autumn Statement is a chance for the government to focus on finances and examine economic growth. Which? wrote to the Chancellor to encourage him to use extra VAT revenue to ease the pressure on consumers struggling with high energy bills.
Which? estimates that due to rising energy prices, the VAT imposed on energy costs will bring an extra £200 million into the Treasury coffers this winter.
In his letter to the Chancellor, Richard Lloyd said: ‘This income should be directed towards helping people this winter by making their homes more energy efficient.’
£200 million for winter
Which? is urging the Treasury to put this money back into schemes such as Warm Front and the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP).
These schemes will help people make their homes more energy efficient, and should make energy bills more affordable for those who are struggling.
Richard Lloyd added that ‘this should be the first step in a renewed government approach towards energy efficiency funding, which supports a growing industry employing thousands.’
The Chancellor will make his Autumn Statement on 29 November.
Help this winter
Which? is campaigning for more affordable energy for everyone – in the long-term we’d like to see more competition and genuine change in the energy market.
But we need to help consumers in the short term as well. We’re asking energy companies to commit to helping consumers by, for example, offering free insulation to all customers until April 2012, and giving extra financial support to elderly customers.