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Councillors asses impact of fuel poverty

A dedicated group of councillors has been set up to look at the impact of fuel poverty on those living in East Lindsey

The Department Of Energy and Climate Change currently classes 33.2 per cent of those living in the district as living in fuel poverty - meaning households having to spend more than ten per cent of their income on heating.

Lincolnshire County Council has set up a task and finish group, chaired by Ingoldmells Rural councillor Colin Davie to look at the issues of fuel poverty in the county.

Sustainability and climate change team leader, Doug Robinson said: “It is well known that fuel poverty affects people living in more rural communities and the group seeks to better understand what this means for Lincolnshire, what our role could be to help mitigate it, and what the Government’s position is.

“Tackling fuel poverty is already on our agenda however, as about 12,000 homes have benefited over the past year from loft insulation or cavity wall insulation through the Home Energy Lincs Partnership scheme (Help).”

Councillor Colin Davie said: “Lincolnshire, and in particular the East Lindsey area, is already suffering from severe levels of fuel poverty as the gap between what people have coming in each month and what they have to spend on heating and lighting widens.

“It is the major political parties’ obsession with funding a low-carbon future by placing stealth taxes on everyone’s electricity or gas bill that is pushing up household bills for everyone.

“In my view, this is going to get much, much worse in the future. It is not right in the 21st century that residents of Lincolnshire may be forced to choose between heating and eating.”

Meanwhile, Skegness MP Mark Simmonds has welcomed a new joint Consumer Focus And Citizens Advice campaign that aims to help and advise people who are falling behind with their energy bills.

He said: “With many of my constituents worrying about affording their energy bills, this is a very timely campaign. About half of people in the UK don’t know their energy supplier has to help them if they fall into debt on their energy bills.

“It is important that my constituents know that help is out there. I urge people to contact their energy company or local Citizens Advice Bureau if they are having problems paying their bills.”

A new report, published by the Renewable Energy Foundation last week, has predicted that current renewable electricity policies intended to meet the EU Renewables Directive in 2020 could result in even higher energy bills for consumers, some seeing increases of up to £320 a year.

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