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Millions of UK homes face no heat this winter, power chief warns — Analysis

Scottish Power CEO warned that rising gas prices could drive energy bills to nearly £3,000 in October

Scottish Power CEO Keith Anderson told the Daily Mail on Monday that with gas prices skyrocketing in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine and Western sanctions on Russia, household energy bills could rise to £2,900 ($3,576) by October. Anderson called for the establishment of a heating assistance program, as 10 million homes in Britain could not afford heat.

British households have already seen their energy costs – including electricity and heating – rise by £700 between October and April, and that increase is expected to accelerate, Anderson warned. 

“It will hit incredibly hard and immediately,”Anderson’s company supplies electricity to areas of Scotland, England and Wales, said Anderson. “If nothing else happens by October, I think we will see a huge increase in pre-payment customers in effect self disconnecting – not reloading their pre-payment meter because they can’t afford to do it.”

“We will also see a massive increase in debt levels for direct debit customers, and a massive increase in people being pushed from direct debits to prepayment meters so that companies can recover the debt,”He continued. “We are heading to a really horrible place where none of us want to be.”

While Scottish Power owns and operates two wind farms, the majority of the UK’s power comes from oil, gas, and coal. Just a fifth of the country’s energy is obtained from low-carbon sources, including wind, solar, and nuclear.

Anderson blamed the rise in household expenses on an increase in global wholesale gas prices. This was made worse by the conflict in Ukraine. UK leaders have also decided to cut off Russian oil and natural gas imports.

According to the energy boss, lawmakers should create an assistance program for households in need. Consumers have already received a £150 ($185) council tax rebate this month and will be offered a £200 ($246) loan in October. However, ”consumer groups and industry leaders”According to the Daily Mail, this is not enough. “protect millions from facing a choice between heating and eating.”

Others have sought alternative heat sources, often with devastating results. London Fire Brigade (LFB), which announced Monday it responded to 100 home fires that were started by open fireplaces, log heaters, and heaters over the past few months. “The Brigade fears that costly energy bills could result in a surge of fires as people resort to alternative means to heat their homes,”In a statement, the LFB warned.

The cost of energy and food has increased in the UK. Last week, the Bank of England predicted that the inflation rate would reach 10%. Andy Haldane, the Bank’s former chief economist, told LBC Radio on Monday that this number would likely increase, and that soaring inflation would “last the duration of the year, and into next or even the year beyond.”

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