What is Fuel Poverty?
It is defined as being when a household has to spend more than 10% of its income on providing an acceptable level of heating and lighting in their homes.
The UK Government has a legally binding obligation to eliminate fuel poverty by 2016 and last December the Statutory consumer body, Consumer Focus, published an update on the latest fuel poverty figures. The new figures caused great alarm amongst politicians and consumer rights bodies such as Help the Aged.
Shockingly the figures for England alone showed a massive INCREASE in year on year figures and 5 million households (up from 4.1 million in 2010) are now classed as being in
GAS PRICE RISES ANNOUNCED
The cynics amongst us will not be surprised to hear that within days of a sharp downturn in temperature, British Gas has announced a 7 % increase in its domestic gas prices.
In addition to this action from British Gas , Scottish & Southern also announced a 9.4% increase in gas prices as from 1st December. As they are the second largest gas supplier after British Gas it is a double whammy for consumers.
Winter bites back
From the peak gas price – so far – of two years ago the wholesale gas price has dropped back by 40% with a paltry 10% reduction in UK consumer prices ! Phil Bentley – CEO of British Gas – tried to explain that to counter the rise we , as consumers , should use less gas to keep warm as a result of more home insulation.
EXTERNAL SOLID WALL INSULATION
We are especially dismayed at the complete lack of any sizeable grants for people wishing to save energy by insulating their solid walls. The message seems to be if you have a cavity wall you are ok but if you live in one of the estimated 6 million “hard to heat ” solid wall homes then, TOUGH !
According to Mr Bentley his company alone has been obliged by law to invest £1 BILLION in Energy Efficiency measures to cut carbon emissions and as British Gas has around 50% of the UK market another £billion must be pledged by the other providers.
Interestingly he did not shy away from confirming this huge cost will be passed onto the consumers in higher bills despite any falls in wholesale gas prices in the future.
PROTEST ! PROTEST !
We would like to invite all our clients and blog followers and their families and friends to send an email or a letter to their local MP and ask them why the people most in need of help, those with the most energy efficient homes, receive the least amount of financial help ?
Please let us know what sort of reply , if any , that you get and we will publish them on the blog.