Charities act to fight fuel poverty on Isle of Wight

Residents on the Isle of Wight – where 25 per cent of the population is in fuel poverty* – may be about to see a substantial reduction in their energy bills thanks to a new partnership with Ebico, the UK’s only not-for-profit energy supplier.

The Footprint Trust – a registered charity that promotes sustainable living on the Isle of Wight, which has the highest fuel poverty rate in the South-East, has today announced that it will promote Ebico as the best option for people who are struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills.

Ebico’s specially designed tariff, which has no standing charge and a flat rate, enables customers to take control of their energy bills, paying only for the energy they use. Furthermore, the company charges the same rate to everyone regardless of their method of payment, allowing customers to take control of their spending.

Ray Harrington Vail, General Manager of the Footprint Trust, said: “Fuel poverty is a significant problem on the Isle of Wight. The link with Ebico will enable the trust to direct residents, particularly those on low incomes, to this ethical company, which helps to reduce the fuel bills of some of the most vulnerable people in society.”

Phil Levermore, Managing Director of Ebico, said: “We are committed to offering a fair deal to all customers regardless of their method of payment. We are convinced that Ebico’s unique pricing policy will make a big difference to many people on the Isle of Wight who struggle to pay for gas and electricity. Customers who are charged a premium for using pre-payment meters will, in particular, benefit from switching to Ebico.”

The Footprint Trust helps to alleviate fuel poverty through its Warmahomes project, which provides free energy saving advice to residents across the Isle of Wight. Householders aged over 60 account for 52 per cent of the fuel poor on the Isle of Wight, and families with children make up 37 per cent. Twenty two per cent of the island’s residents are aged over 60 compared to the national average of 16 per cent.

It was these facts that prompted the trust to apply to the National Lottery’s Big Lottery Fund for a grant to enable it to visit people in their homes and assist them in reducing their fuel bills and help them access funding for loft insulation. Statistics show that more than 70 per cent of post 1919 houses on the Isle of Wight do not have cavity insulation and of the homes built there between 1945 and 1964, 12.5 per cent have no loft insulation.

To find out more click on this link…

Or call the Footprint Trust 0n 01983 822282.


Notes to Editors

*This figure is from the Centre for Sustainable Energy. People are said to be in fuel poverty if they spend 10 per cent or more of their income on energy.

All other figures are taken from the Isle of Wight Council’s 2002 Private Sector Housing Condition Survey.

For further media information contact:

Gemma Shaw
Office: 020 7009 3121