Money Saving Expert founder Lewis has been outspoken on the need for more support to be provided by the government to those on the lowest incomes, but he also tweeted his concern that food bank style arrangement might have to be made to cater for those who can’t afford to run their household heating.
Lewis tweeted: “Can't believe I'm writing this, but I wonder if this winter well need 'warm banks' the equivalent of 'food banks' where people who can't afford heating are invited to spend their days at no cost with heating (eg libraries, public buildings)?”
Can't believe I'm writing this, but I wonder if this winter well need 'warm banks' the equivalent of 'food banks' where people who can't afford heating are invited to spend their days at no cost with heating (eg libraries, public buildings)?— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) July 11, 2022
Whereas little has been said so far by the government about their plans to help those who can’t afford to pay for the heating to be on during the winter months, others in the comments under Lewis’ post have pointed out that some schemes do already exist to help those who need a bit of warmth during winter.
Earlier this year, a ‘warm rooms’ project was set up in Suffolk, offering free heated spaces that members of the public can drop into when the temperature drops.
That project includes several community venues and sites, and offers attendees the opportunity to meet people, as well as having a welcome cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit.
The scheme in Suffolk also provides games and activities for young children.
Speaking at the time, Linda Bailey, a trustee for Bungay Community Support, where the scheme has been brought in, told the Eastern Daily Press: "Isolation is a huge issue for people after Covid.
"People can't heat their houses up either with energy prices on the increase.
"The service is also popular with new mums in the town but those from across the age ranges are also using our service."
It remains to be seen whether more and more of these types of projects will pop up as the reality of yet another large increase in energy prices draws nearer.
Consultants Cornwall Insight recently forecast that the average yearly energy bill could be £3,363 by January, meaning that UK citizens would be forking out £280 per month on energy alone.
Dr Craig Lowrey, from Cornwall Insight, said: “There is always some hope that the market will stabilise and retreat in time for the setting of the January cap.
“However, with the announcement of the October cap only a month away, the high wholesale prices are already being 'baked in' to the figure, with little hope of relief from the predicted high energy bills.
"As it stands, energy consumers are facing the prospect of a very expensive winter.”
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