Changeworks’ response to the Chancellor’s budget

Following the Chancellor’s 2023 budget, Changeworks is encouraged by steps outlined to protect those on prepayment meters and struggling with ongoing high energy costs.

However, we continue to call on the Government to do more to tackle the underlying issues of the energy crisis and respond to the climate emergency rather than being solely focused on short term support.  

Changeworks has long called for an end to significantly higher costs of energy for those on prepayment meters, compared to costs for those on direct debit.

We welcome the news that finally the energy costs for prepayment meters are being brought into line with direct debit energy costs. Alongside the recent ban of forced prepayment meter installation, we are relieved to see protections in place for more vulnerable customers and those struggling with their energy costs.  

The news that the Energy Bill Support Scheme will be extended until the end of June 2023 will also be a relief to many householders still facing high energy bills.

Changeworks’ Chief Executive, Josiah Lockhart, explained: “The changes outlined in the budget and recently by Ofgem will no doubt be a huge help to those currently on prepayment meters or more vulnerable people struggling with their energy costs.”

“It is encouraging to see continued government support for households in the energy crisis through the extension of the Energy Bill Support Scheme.” 

Despite these encouraging steps, Changeworks is disappointed that there is still not enough being done to adequately address the underlying causes of the energy crisis and ongoing climate emergency.

“The actions outlined in this budget are failing to tackle the underlying issues.”

The Chancellor’s budget, whilst providing short term relief, does little to acknowledge the Committee on Climate Change’s recent report that outline concerns about the UK Government’s lack of progress on climate targets. 

Josiah added: “We are relieved on behalf of householders we work with that steps in this budget will continue to support many people in the short term. But the actions outlined in this budget are failing to tackle the underlying issues.

“Alongside continued investment in the decarbonisation of homes, Changeworks continues to encourage Government to advocate for steps to be taken to reduce energy demand, which would help reduce both energy costs for households and the impact they have on the environment.”

Changeworks will continue offering energy efficiency advice to help people tackle the cost of energy. In 2023 we will continue expanding our operations with local authorities, social landlords and householders to continue to decarbonise homes in Scotland.

Changeworks will also continue to call on the UK and Scottish Governments to legislate and fund a just, ambitious transition to net zero. 

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