Families in rural communities are set to be hardest hit by a ‘tsunami’ of soaring energy costs, the Lib Dems have warned.
The party says new research suggests that people in rural areas living in fuel poverty will be £450 less than their urban counterparts when prices rise in October.
According to the Lib Dems, the average “fuel poverty gap” – the amount needed to lift households over the fuel poverty threshold – is estimated at £1,050 in rural areas when the price cap rises.
This compares to a projection of £600 in urban areas.
The party is calling on the new prime minister to offer extra support for energy bills to people living in rural communities as they risk becoming the ‘forgotten victims’ of the cost of living crisis.
This includes additional support for off-grid homes that rely on fuel oil, which is not subject to the energy price cap.
It comes as Liz Truss is expected to tell MPs on Thursday that National Bills will be frozen at around £2,500 as part of a package to ease the cost of living crisis.
Ahead of the announcement, she said: “We will take immediate action to help people and businesses pay their bills, but we will also take decisive action to address the root cause of these issues, so that we are not left behind. more in this position.
“We will set out our plans to deliver on that promise and build a prosperous Britain for all.”
Lib Dems rural affairs spokesman Tim Farron said: ‘The Conservatives have had months to lay out a plan to tackle soaring energy bills. Instead, families and retirees worried day and night about how they would get through the winter.
“Families in rural communities are expected to be hardest hit by this tsunami of skyrocketing heating costs.
“The new energy package must take into account the rural energy poverty gap and provide targeted additional support to those who need it. This should include those in off-grid homes that rely on fuel oil or other energy sources.
“People who live in the countryside are tired of being ignored and taken for granted by the Conservatives. Rural households must not be allowed to become the forgotten victims of this energy crisis.