The Chancellor should use next week’s Spring Statement to protect West of England residents who use domestic heating oil from sky-high energy bills, according to Metro Mayor Dan Norris.
The Metro Mayor made the comments in response to energy costs for rural homes reliant on heating oil having doubled in just two weeks after the Ukraine conflict caused wholesale prices to skyrocket.
The average price per litre of heating oil is sitting at 147.45p a litre, up from 68.66p on 24 February, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, according to Boiler Juice, a firm that tracks consumer energy prices. This is an increase of 116 per cent.
While wholesale gas and electricity prices have also spiked, most homes on these tariffs are protected by the energy price cap, which limits how much suppliers can charge.
But oil-reliant homes, mostly situated in rural locations, have no such protections in place, with the effect that an increase in prices is immediately felt in in their pockets.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris said the Chancellor must put in place measures to protect consumers when delivering his Spring Statement next Wednesday or risk “ever more people choosing between heating and eating”. He said: “It is indefensible that rural households throughout our region are facing even steeper bills due to being forgotten by this Government. This is an energy hike hammer blow to many rural homes. The Chancellor needs to get a grip and take the necessary action to protect them. Rural communities are too often neglected by this Government and the rocketing heating oil prices are the latest stark example”.