Citizens Advice North Herts has said it expects to see a 73 per cent increase in the number of people unable to pay their energy bills, even after cutting back, following a meeting with MP Sir Oliver Heald.

The North East Herts MP has been hearing from Citizens Advice North Herts how the cost of living crisis is impacting constituents.

The conservative MP met with a small group of staff and volunteers on Friday last week.

CANH told Sir Oliver that household budgets are under enormous pressure, and they are seeing a huge demand. In February 2022 alone they helped 630 people.

Increases in inflation, national insurance, housing and travel costs are all combining to tip families into crisis.

The CA says support given by central government is “appreciated” but “does not go far enough given the scale of the issues".

Lecia Fraser, head of advice services, said: "In the North East Herts constituency, our research shows that there will be an increase of 73 per cent in the number of people unable to pay their energy bills even after cutting back on essential bills.

"Some families have high incomes or savings and will be able to cope with these price rises but others are already struggling; their incomes already barely cover the cost of essentials like shelter, food, heating and clothing.

"They have no chance of securing a pay rise that will match the increase in their costs. They have no savings."

This year households have already felt the pinch as inflation and prices at the fuel pumps sore. From April 1, the energy price cap will increase by £693 - or 54 per cent - from £1,277 to £1,971 per year.

Sir Oliver said: "It was good to visit Citizens Advice North Herts and I would like to thank all at Citizens Advice for the great work they do on debt advice and in helping constituents to access services and government hardship funds.

"The rise in energy costs caused by Russia is adding to the pressures on families and I hope it will be possible to see international action to reduce energy bills.

"I was able to outline the tax cuts and extra help announced by Rishi Sunak this week and clearly government will need to keep monitoring the situation."

Information on government support available can be found at

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