76% of Brits not happy with government support during energy crisis

The Eco Experts

76% of British people think the government has fallen short when it comes to supporting them with energy bills, according to our annual National Home Energy Survey.

Our survey of 2,134 people found a large majority across the country holds this view, which cuts across generational, geographical, and financial divides.

The energy crisis has resulted in the average bill doubling to £2,500 over the past year, but the government has only intervened to a limited extent.

Respondents heavily criticised the government’s Cost of Living Support package – which handed all households at least £400 during winter – for being insufficient, poorly managed, and standing in stark contrast to the friendly treatment doled out to oil and gas companies.

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How many Brits feel let down by the government’s energy bill support?

76% of Brits told us the government has not done enough to support people with the rising cost of energy bills.

This is a massive majority of people who feel dissatisfied by the government’s inadequate response to the energy crisis.

And this view holds across all demographics. People from different generations, on vastly disparate levels of income, and from all corners of the country agree: the government has let them down.

Dissatisfaction with government support by age bracket

Graphic of dissatisfaction with government support by age bracket

79% of people born since 1965 are dissatisfied with the government’s efforts to support people with the rising cost of energy bills.

That means more than three-quarters of Gen Z (born 1997-2013), Millennials (born 1981-1996), and Gen X (born 1965-1980) are dissatisfied with the government’s response.

73% of Boomers (born 1946-1964) agree, as do 61% of the Silent Generation (born 1928-1945).

So respondents over the age of 57 were more likely to think the government has done enough to support people with energy bills – but not much more likely.

There aren’t many issues that unite the generations like this, but this is one of them.

Satisfaction with government support by region

Map of satisfaction with government support by region

More than two-thirds of people in every region of the UK are unhappy with the government’s energy bill help.

Respondents in Scotland were the most fed up, with 82% saying the government hadn’t given sufficient support.

The north-east and east of England were close behind – with 81% and 80% negative responses respectively – followed by the north-west, on 79%.

While the north and Scotland are home to the highest proportion of people disappointed with the government’s response, the south isn’t too far behind.

75% of respondents in the south-east, south-west, and Greater London said the government support wasn’t enough.

The region that’s most satisfied with the government is the East Midlands – but the region is still deeply upset with the government as a whole, with 69% saying there wasn’t enough help.

What more could the government be doing to support the public?

The government could dedicate more funding to help people with their energy bills, paid for by heavily taxing energy companies that are making record profits off a suffering country.

A respondent told us: “The government has definitely not done enough to help – even in cheap places like Cornwall, my brother is having to sell his house because he can’t afford the energy prices and raise a family.”

Another voiced a common opinion, saying: “They need to increase taxes on companies making insane profits from the energy crisis. Makes no sense whatsoever that Shell, BP, and others are making record profits and leaving households to foot the bill.”

There was real anger at the government, which one respondent called “corrupt and inept,” while another said the support given “just isn’t enough to keep enough people from choosing whether to heat their homes or put food on the table.”

Pull quote that says: "There aren’t many issues that unite the generations like this, but this is one of them."

Many people complained about the government’s “scattershot” approach to support, and the fact that all UK households – even the wealthiest ones – received £400.

“It not being means-tested is a huge oversight,” one respondent said, while another told us: “There is still lots more they could have done to make the impact on poorer households less painful.

“I would happily give up the support I received if I knew it would go to a household that really needed it.”

The government could have put a large amount of means-tested help in place from the beginning of the energy crisis, but it didn’t move quickly enough, choosing to live in denial instead.

It could also dedicate real funding to making all British homes well-insulated and powered by green energy. We’ve previously worked out that the UK’s energy could be green by 2030, massively cutting energy bills in the process – if there was any government will to do it.

Instead, this cowardly government pretends to go green while handing out new licences to oil and gas companies – and we all pay the price.

What will happen to government energy bill support from April?

From April, the government’s Cost of Living Support will end.

That means no £400 payment for all homes, no £650 payment for the lowest-income households, no £300 for pensioners, and no £150 for households with a disabled person.

So despite the government u-turning and scrapping a rise to the Energy Price Guarantee that would’ve meant a £3,000 annual bill for the average household, homes will still pay more from April.

The government’s £400 grant to all households kept the average bill at £2,100, but from April, it’ll rise to £2,500.

This is grave news for respondents who told us the energy crisis has led them to endanger their health to survive the price rises.

One person said they “buy and eat less food, and skip meals,” while another said: “I’ve delayed using my central heating and worn a coat indoors even though I have very poor circulation and can not feel my legs at times.”

For them, and for millions of others, things are about to get worse – and it’s the government’s fault.

Explore the rest of our National Home Energy Survey 2023

See the results


Our findings are clear: Brits think the government’s energy bill support has been inadequate, reluctantly given, and badly handled.

The government could’ve created the Cost of Living Support package many months in advance of energy bills rising, when it became clear we were facing a dire situation.

Instead, it was a late, panicked creation that didn’t differentiate between the rich and disadvantaged, and did nothing to prevent millions of people from needlessly falling into fuel poverty.

To see how these results compare with last year’s survey, check out our National Home Energy Survey 2022.

Written by:
josh jackman
Josh has written about eco-friendly home improvements and climate change for the past four years. His work has been displayed on the front page of the Financial Times, he's been interviewed by BBC One's Rip-Off Britain, and he regularly features in The Telegraph and on BBC Radio.
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