Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Tackling Rural Fuel Poverty

Pleased to see plenty of coverage of our campaign to highlight rural poverty. I'll let the Morpeth Hearld take up part one...

MP’s horror at fuel poverty families

A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has spoken out over the horror of local families being forced into fuel poverty.

Figures from the Department for Energy and Climate Change show that the North East has the second highest number of households living with this problem.

With more than 20 per cent of households suffering fuel poverty compared to less than ten per cent in the South East, Hexham MP Guy Opperman, whose constituency includes Ponteland and Stannington, says the issue can no longer be ignored.

“Fuel poverty has risen every year since 2003, estimated now to be around five million families suffering, and the problem is even more acute in rural areas with the rocketing costs of heating oil,” he said.

Mr Opperman has welcomed Government plans for a ‘Green Deal’ due to be fully available from October 2012, which will offer householders and businesses the chance to fund energy efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bills, but warned the time has also come for fuel companies to shoulder some responsibility.

He said: “These price hikes in fuel bills continue to hit households in our area, some that are already struggling to make ends meet...
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