Northumberland : Fuel poverty concerns raised

OFTEC, the UK trade body for oil fired heating, has written to parliamentary candidates in Northumberland urging their party to put fuel poverty high on their list of election pledges. Statistics showed that fuel poverty in Northumberland directly contributed to 100 excess winter deaths in the winter of 2012/13.

In the letter, OFTEC called for candidates to support better measures aimed at reducing fuel bills as well as carbon emissions of homes in Northumberland, including providing cash for households to improve their insulation and replace their old, inefficient boilers.

Malcolm Farrow, of OFTEC, said:

“It is a scandal that 100 people in Northumberland died during the previous winter simply because they could not afford to heat their home properly. There’s a great opportunity for the new government to introduce energy policies that help ordinary households across the county and this is why we have challenged party candidates to support the measures we put forward.”

The letter was sent to Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, UKIP and Green candidates in all rural constituencies across Northumberland. It was co-signed by rural communities’ charity ACRE and FPS, the federation of petroleum suppliers.

 Janice Banks, chief executive of ACRE, added:
“A high proportion of people in fuel poverty in Northumberland live in rural areas where houses typically have poorer insulation and old, inefficient boilers. The measures introduced by the last Government have failed to tackle this serious issue and far more needs to be done to help homes across the county.”

For more information about reducing your fuel costs visit http://www.oilsave.org.uk

Source –  Berwick Advertiser, 22 Apr 2015

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