Rural areas set to be hit hardest by expected energy bill rise

Rural areas in England and Wales will be hit hardest by the expected rise in energy bills in April, new research has revealed.

Analysis of ONS data by the Liberal Democrats shows median bills are expected to rise by an average of £598.

In rural areas, many homes and businesses could see energy bill increases of £700 or more, the party's research shows.

Of the 20 local authorities with the highest increase in bills, 16 are represented by Conservative MPs.

This includes the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s area of Richmondshire, where people face an average rise of £737, the fourth highest rise in England.

And people living on the Scilly Isles face average increases of £968, higher than anywhere in the country.

It comes as energy bills are expected to rise to unprecedented levels in April, with experts warning the new energy price cap is expected to be around £1,865.

Bills are then expected to rise above £2,000 when the price cap is revised again in the autumn.

Leader of the Lib Dems Ed Davey said it was 'hardly surprising' that it was people in rural areas who were facing the biggest rises in bills this year.

The party is calling for more support for families through the expansion of the Warm Home Discount Scheme and the doubling of the Winter Fuel Payments.

"This is yet more evidence that the Conservatives are taking our rural communities for granted," Mr Davey said.

“Families are facing an energy bill nightmare, while the government is asleep at the wheel. They’ve failed to do anything to protect vulnerable people from this cost of living crisis."

Source: Farming UK