Thousands of people in Derby face fuel poverty

August 10, 2009 1:43 PM

Local Liberal Democrats have warned that urgent action is needed to help local people in fuel poverty now before we get to the winter.

Figures released in a parliamentary answer put the number of households in fuel poverty in Derby at 6,100. These figures are from 2003, the latest available.

Derby North Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson Cllr Lucy Care said, "These figures show how urgent it is for action to be taken to take people out of fuel poverty before winter starts to bite.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for;

· Energy companies to be made to invest £500m a year into a rolling programme to make sure homes are properly insulated

· Billing rules to be changed so that the first units of energy people use are no longer the most expensive. Essential energy should be the cheapest, while bigger users pay more.

· Energy companies to roll out social tariffs to over two million vulnerable customers nationally. This would reduce fuel bills for some of the poorest customers in our area.

· Smart meters in homes, which display real time consumption costs.This would help householders see how to cut their use and bills.

Lucy Care continued "What is really concerning is that the most recent figures the government had for people living in fuel poverty were from 2003. If there were 6,100 households in our area living in fuel poverty then, how many more are facing it this winter, now that fuel prices have rocketed and we are in a financial crisis?"

Figures for fuel poverty can be found at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmhansrd/cm090512/text/90512w0004.htm#09051251000055