Energy price rises to push 300,000 into “fuel poverty” this winter

Energy price rises averaging seven per cent over the past year are set to push thousands more households into fuel poverty.  The prediction comes from the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, which is funded by the Department of Energy.

Fuel poverty is defined as spending more than 10% of household income on heating costs. The average direct debit bill for energy is now almost £1,250.

The Group estimates that some 300,000 households will fall into the fuel poverty bracket this winter, with around nine million people spending 10% or more of their income on fuel by 2016.

The Government recently announced that from next year energy firms must simplify energy tariffs and ensure that customers are on the cheapest available price in the tariff they choose.

But there are calls from consumer groups for some of the £4billion collected each year in carbon taxes to be spent on reducing fuel poverty, and in particular on home insulation.

 

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