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Care homes face crippling 100 percent rise in their heating bills this winter, bosses warn

Care homes could close this winter because they face a crippling 100 per cent rise in their heating bills, bosses have warned. 

Melanie Weatherby, co-chair of the Care Association Alliance, said the soaring price of wholesale gas could be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’. 

On average, a care home with 50 residents spends around £50,000 per year on gas and electricity bills.

But an energy broker has predicted the price increases could lead to care operators – who are not protected by the price cap – paying double that amount.  

It comes as the boss of one collapsed energy company says pleas for help have ‘fallen on deaf ears’ despite many suppliers being on the brink of administration.

The price hikes have seen seven firms collapse since August and led to a warning from the Government to prepare for the worst. 

Melanie Weatherby, co-chair of the Care Association Alliance, said the soaring price of wholesale gas could be the ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ (file photo)

Steve Silverwood, Managing Director of ECA Business Energy, told The Guardian: ‘The care homes that haven’t already purchased energy for forthcoming renewals are going to see 100 per cent plus increases. 

‘A care home can be spending £50,000 plus [on energy] and to double that is unbelievable.’

Ms Weatherby said: ‘It could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.’

And Nadra Ahmed, of the National Care Association, warned of the impact price hikes will have in the winter, when heating will be switched on all the time.

The comments follow the founder and chief executive of Green Energy saying that ‘a majority’ of the 40 companies he has spoken to in recent days are likely to collapse without further Government support.

His business became the fifth supplier to go out of business in September as rising gas prices contributed to the crisis engulfing the sector.

Speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland, Peter McGirr also said that a meeting with Business Secretary Kwarteng had been ‘pretty pointless’ and suggested that people may be unable to heat their homes over the winter and then face a huge price hike in the new year.

He said: ‘We have tirelessly lobbied Government and, along with 14 other suppliers, wrote an open letter at the very start of the week saying that the market is in crisis, we all need help.

The price hikes have seen seven energy firms collapse since August and led to a warning from the Government to prepare for the worst (file photo)

The price hikes have seen seven energy firms collapse since August and led to a warning from the Government to prepare for the worst (file photo)

‘Unfortunately it’s fallen on deaf ears.

‘We’re doing a round table with the Business Secretary on Tuesday when he finally listened and talked to all the small suppliers, but we were in there for an hour and it felt like for an hour we were talking about what colour to paint the stables now that all the horses are bolted.

‘So it was pretty pointless, to be honest.’

On Thursday, Mr Kwarteng denied being complacent over 18-month-old warnings about risks to the UK’s energy supply after 1.5million people were left without a provider.

With 800,000 consumers losing their suppliers on Wednesday alone, two energy companies have since looked to make it more difficult for new customers to sign up for their services as they attempt to survive the current turbulence.

Yesterday, Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) denied being complacent over 18-month-old warnings about risks to the UK's energy supply after 1.5million people were left without a provider

Yesterday, Kwasi Kwarteng (pictured) denied being complacent over 18-month-old warnings about risks to the UK’s energy supply after 1.5million people were left without a provider

Shadow business secretary Ed Miliband quoted a letter from energy regulator Ofgem warning of a ‘systemic risk to the energy supply as a whole’ which had been sent 18 months ago.

Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted that the details show the Government was ‘warned about a looming crisis and didn’t prepare’.

But in the Commons earlier, Mr Kwarteng insisted the industry and market will find the solution to the energy crisis.

Responding to an urgent question from Labour, he said: ‘The Government has been clear that protecting consumers is our primary focus and shapes our entire approach to this.

‘We will continue to protect consumers with the energy price cap.

‘The solution to this crisis will be found from the industry and the market, as is already happening, and the Government – I repeat – will not be bailing out failed energy companies.’

MailOnline has contacted the Department of Health and Social Care for comment. 


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