Fuel poverty soars amid higher energy prices

| October 14, 2010 | 0 Comments

Statistics from the Department of Energy and Climate Change have revealed that fuel poverty has more than doubled in the last five years amid rising energy prices.

Anyone spending over 10% of their household income on heating their homes are said to be in fuel poverty.

The figures show that an increasing amount of people are struggling to keep their homes warm as the average British fuel bill is in excess of £1,000 a year.

Figures from the Department showed that the number of households in fuel poverty in 2003 was at just two million.

However, by 2008, the figure reached 4.5 million - a year in which energy bills surged by 45%.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has previously said there is a growing increase in the number of consumers struggling with fuel debts.

As a result, the Bureau advises shopping around for the best deal and compare suppliers – this might cut costs. Ask about different tariffs and ways to pay and make sure prices quoted include VAT.

Furthermore, the Bureau suggests talking to your existing supplier to check whether you are on the best tariff.

In the meantime, there are concerns that as part of the coalition Government’s welfare crackdown, the Winter Fuel Payment, which all pensioners are eligible for, is being reviewed.

A report suggested that the winter fuel allowance could be slashed by as much as £100 in the Government’s comprehensive spending review later this month.

Furthermore, the Government wants to change the qualifying age for the annual payment from 60 to at least 66.

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