One-tenth of all households in Croydon are living in fuel poverty, according to a senior City Hall figure, meaning that more than 14,000 families in the borough could be forced to choose whether to heat or eat this Christmas.
Fiona Twycross, the Labour London Assembly Member who is also a Croydon resident, today released the figures of those who are struggling to be able to afford to heat their homes, as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced a trial scheme to provide some hard-pressed households with new, more fuel-efficient boilers which could save a family £150 per year in heating bills.
“It’s terrible that so many people in Croydon are struggling with their energy bills, and in many cases are having to choose whether to heat or eat,” Twycross said.
“I welcome the Mayor’s announcement to take action. This scheme will help many Londoners living in cold homes – I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot and hope the scheme can be expanded. I would also urge people to make sure they are on the best energy deal – over two-thirds of households in Britain are on variable tariffs which are usually more expensive than fixed deals.”
Twycross’s figures are based on Government research which shows that nearly 10 per cent of Londoners – almost 350,000 households according to the latest available figures, and up by 22,000 over the previous 12-month period – are finding it difficult to afford to heat their homes.
The main causes for fuel poverty are poorly insulated buildings, high energy costs, and low pay.
Mayor Khan’s £1 million Better Boilers scheme will only scratch the surface of the issue, by repairing the boilers in 500 homes or replacing them with ultra-low emissions appliances. The new boilers will also reduce carbon emissions and reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Ofgem, the energy market regulator, recently published data comparing how much customers on standard variable tariffs with each supplier could save by switching to a cheaper deal. Around 66 per cent of all households are on standard variable tariffs, which Ofgem say are typically more expensive than fixed deals.
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