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Millions will face fuel poverty despite Ofgem move to cut energy price cap

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The energy regulator Ofgem is poised to announce a lower cap on energy bills on Thursday, making gas and electricity cheaper across Great Britain, but the reduction will still leave an estimated 6.5m households in fuel poverty.Under Ofgem’s price cap, which will take effect from July, the average gas and electricity bill will fall from £2,500 a year under the government’s energy price guarantee to just over £2,053, according to estimates from energy analysts at Cornwall Insight.However, households which struggled to pay their bills over the winter are expected to remain hard-pressed because government payments worth a total of £400 between October to March this year have come to an end.At more than £2,000, typical energy bills will remain almost double the level they were at before Russia began restricting gas supplies to Europe as it prepared to invade Ukraine.

In October 2021, the typical household paid £1,271 a year for gas and electricity.In a forecast that will alarm hard-pressed families, Cornwall’s analysts have warned they do not expect bills to return to pre-2020 levels “before the end of the decade at the earliest”.Peter Smith, a director of National Energy Action, a fuel poverty charity, said: “It is good news energy prices are no longer spiralling but the energy crisis is far from over.”National Energy Action has calculated that the number of people living in fuel poverty would remain at about 6.5 million under the new price cap.

This figure is lower than the 7.5 million estimate for the winter months but remains on a par with levels last April, when fuel poverty reached a record high.Smith said: “While it’s no longer at its peak, the number of households struggling to heat and power their homes is still much

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