Sunday 22 May 2022 11:58 AM E.ON boss says 40% of homes face fuel poverty without government help and price ... trends now
The boss of E.ON has said the energy cap could rise to as much as £2,800 and called for 'substantial' Government intervention to try and stop millions of people going into fuel poverty.
Michael Lewis, chief executive of the energy firm, said the ongoing increase in energy prices was 'unprecedented' and called for payments of Universal Credit and the Warm Homes Discount Scheme to be bumped up.
He said 40 per cent of its eight million UK customers will be in fuel poverty in October if the Government doesn't help, and suggested it tax 'those with the broadest shoulders' to achieve this.
It comes as millions of households struggle to keep up with rising bills, after energy regulator Ofgem raised the cap on how much suppliers can charge customers to £2,000 in April.
This is coupled with an ongoing cost-of-living crisis that has seen food and petrol prices rise, with Mr Lewis saying a third of E.ON's customers were cutting back on food to afford energy bills.
E.ON CEO Michael Lewis, pictured here speaking to the BBC this morning, said that 40 per cent of his firm's eight million UK customers will be in fuel poverty in October if the Government doesn't help
Speaking to the BBC this morning, Mr Lewis said the rise in prices was 'predominantly' down the conflict in Ukraine, which is affecting supplies the eastern European country and Russia.
He said: 'In my 30 years in the energy industry I have never seen prices increase at this rate.
'The gas price has gone up significantly, the gas price also drives up the electricity price because gas generation sets the price for electricity.
'We are seeing a significant number of people in fuel poverty - that to say more than 10 per cent of their disposable income spent on energy.'
He said 20 per cent of people were in fuel poverty and this could rise to 40 per cent without 'very substantial' government intervention.
He said models are predicting that two million customers supplied by E.ON will be in arrears by October.
'Frankly, some people are at the edge, they simply cannot pay and that will get worse once prices go up again in October,' Mr Lewis said.
'October will see a price increase and an increase in consumption, that's when it's going to hit and that's why we've called for more Government intervention.'
He said it was 'impossible to say' what the new price cap