The announcement that no further applications for fuel poor and vulnerable customers can be accepted by the Government’s Warm Front Scheme in England is of major concern, warns the Government’s own Fuel Poverty Advisory Group. The Government’s budget through to 31st March 2011, at some £345 million, has now already been fully allocated. Nationally there is currently a waiting list of some 50,000 applicants.
The Island’s Footprint Trust has also raised serious concerns.
Ray Harrington-Vail from the Trust’s Energetic Project said..
“We estimate that there are around 100 ‘fuel poor’ households on the Isle of Wight who are waiting for a new heating system under this scheme. It is only those on very low income and have no effective heating in their homes that can apply. The government is failing to protect the most needy in our society by not assisting the poor during one of the coldest periods in recent decades.”
“A new efficient heating system can reduce fuel bills by 40% and save lives. We urge the minister Chris Huhne to think again about freezing of this funding…”
“The Footprint Trust can arrange for free or cheap insulation of homes under the another scheme. We can also give guidance on saving energy and other help available through our Energetic programme…however only the Warm Front scheme can provide a new heating system for those on a low income..people can call us on 82-22-82.”
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne has said that the Warm Front budget would be slashed to £110 million for 2011/12 and £100 million for 2012/13.
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The Footprint Trust is an educational charity based on the Isle of Wight – working to improve the environment through wise use of fuel.