The woman, known only as Louise, appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Friday – the day the energy regulator announced the energy price cap will rise by an eye-watering 80 per cent.
Louise is among tens of thousands of people who are planning to refuse to pay their bills, despite the risks that entails, as part of the Don’t Pay UK campaign.
They are demanding a reduction to an affordable level and they are pledging to cancel their direct debits from October 1 if one million people sign up to do the same by that time.
As of Sunday morning (August 28), 125,000 people had pledged not to pay on the Don’t Pay UK website.
Despite that, Louise told GMB: “I feel like we were being bullied, to be honest, and I don’t think anybody likes a bully.
“And this situation where they have open access to your bank account to just hike up this direct debit and just take your money”
“I just felt really angered by that,” she continued.
“So I decided to stand with the campaign UK because I thought, you know, it’s the only language this government speaks.
“It’s money, it’s all about money!”
And with the government taking limited action, a pressure group has said it is going to sue the regulator Ofgem, in an attempt to make a difference.
The Good Law Project, which said it was taking the action against the regulator with Fuel Poverty Action and the Highlands & Islands Housing Association’s Affordable Warmth Group, said it was the first legal action of its kind.
Ofgem raised the energy price cap on Friday (August 26) in a move which will see the average household spend £3,549 a year, and which Jolyon Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, said would “devastate families”.
“Don’t be fooled. This is a choice. And the choice they’ve made is to let low income consumers and small businesses bear the brunt of this crisis,” said the QC.
“We believe Ofgem can, and should, do more. We intend to put the question before the High Court, and will ask for a fast-tracked timeline to reflect the urgency of this crisis.”
The Good Law Project said it would ask the High Court to “ensure the regulator upholds its legal duties to, among other things, carry out an impact assessment that includes assessing the disproportionate impact on elderly people, children and people with disabilities, before confirming the price cap increase”.
The pressure group said that before Ofgem raised the cap, it believed the regulator was legally required to “provide evidence it has carried out a proper impact assessment” and had to “consider appropriate mitigation measures for the most vulnerable, including a lower social tariff” .
Citizen’s Advice Shropshire has suggested that Government action is needed to prevent a “desperate winter” for people, and is urging those in financial trouble to seek help as early as possible.