Help With Fuel For Poorest Customers

Plans to help vulnerable and elderly people with their fuel bills have been introduced by the Government today.

The new measures will see help given to households to improve their energy efficiency, cut costs and ensure they are on the best tariff.

Environment Minister Phil Woolas said: "Household bills are rising and purse strings are tightening. Encouraging energy efficiency is crucial because it really does cut costs - especially for those who can least afford energy price hikes.

"These new measures will make homes across the country more energy efficient and give people at risk of fuel poverty a boost where they need it most. Fuel poverty isn't just a winter issue - it's about working all year round to improve the homes of some of the most vulnerable people in this country, and that's something the Government is determined to do."

The initiatives come after Ofgem's fuel poverty summit last month where attendees called for better energy efficiency in homes and advances in data sharing.

The Government measures aim to assist poorer consumers to cut bills for the long term by improving energy efficiency and helping those who need the help most to be easily identified.

Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks said: "We've got a commitment from the energy companies now to provide an extra £225 million in social assistance by increasing their investment to £150 million per year by 2011. Now we're working on finding ways to get them the right information to enable them to get that money to those who need it the most. That's what's most important right now - making sure the most vulnerable, the elderly, the disabled and young families aren't cold in their own homes because they can't pay their bills."


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