Island’s ‘fuel poor’ face energy bill record of over £2000 a year

Isle of Wight households will typically pay an extra £693 a year on their energy bills from April. The massive rise in energy bills will put a further pressure on people already facing higher prices, rising taxes and benefit cuts. For those people on prepayment meters there will be a rise from £1,309 a year to £2,017 for a typical household bill.

The government has claimed that its £200 loan per household would “ease” people’s anxiety over the price hike.
Speaking for The Footprint Trust their General Manager Ray Harrington-Vail said;

“After waiting weeks for action on the pending biggest single energy rise for decades, the government has offered up a repayable loan. This does not tackle the issue of the fuel poor, which are those in most need…”

The average wage earner is likely to be £400 worse off than last year, Paul Johnson, director of the influential Institute for Fiscal Studies said, due to a combination of tax rises and inflation.

The higher energy price cap means a typical household will pay £1,971 a year from April, 54% more than they pay now, with a further rise expected in October. The £693 a year rise will affect 22 million households, with 4.5 million customers on prepayment meters facing an even bigger increase of £708 a year.

“Experts had called on the government to increase the Warm home Discount and Winter Fuel payments to help those faced with energy cost increases of over 50%, and to remove VAT from fuel bills. Instead the government has come up with a gimmick which gives the wealthy an interest free loan, and the poor a burden of debt.”

The Footprint Trust has seen a record amount of Islanders contacting the Trust in recent weeks. They have been worried about their energy companies going out of business, massive increases in fuel costs and burdening debt. The Isle of Wight has one of the highest levels of fuel and child poverty in SE England.
Here are some of the basic tips which The Footprint Trust offers;

  • If your energy company has gone bust download and keep your energy bills and take meter readings
  • Inform your utility company if you are struggling with your bills, they will give you time to pay, spreading the cost over the summer months ahead
  • Apply for the £140 Warm home Discount from your electricity company
  • Ask Southern Water about the discounted Essentials Tariff, which could cut 20% off your water charges
  • If you have vulnerable people in your household sign up for the free Priority Services Register with your utility company
  • Keep your heating at 18 degrees, ever degree over that costs about £80 a year extra
  • Homeowners should insulate their homes if this not already been done, ask The Footprint Trust for details of subsidised schemes and other assistance by calling 822282.