It is estimated that up to 25% of Londoners experience fuel poverty, with fuel costing 10% or more of their total income.
Our Community Ambassador - Tom Walsh attended a workshop led by Alex Hartley (South East London Community Energy), hosted by Community Energy London, to find out more about this worrying issue and the support available to those in need...
Fuel Poverty and Health
Fuel poverty leads to many health issues as sufferers are forced to decide to ‘Heat or Eat’. Due to temperature induced heart and chest conditions fuel poverty costs the NHS £1.8billion each year.
What help is available?
The big energy suppliers and local and national government offer an array of support and benefits but customers are often unaware of their entitlement.
Support available will depend on your personal circumstances, and ranges from help with heating your home to financial help to clear a debt or grants that can fund energy efficiency improvements to your home.
Below is a list of some of the entitlements offered, and links to find out more:
Priority Services Register for people in need
Eradication of fuel debt through selective grants
Winter Fuel Payment - If you were born on or before 5 November 1953 you could get between £100 and £300 to help you pay your heating bills. £100 - £300
Warm Home Discount Scheme - You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2018 to 2019 as a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March.
Cold Weather Payment - You’ll get a payment if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero degrees celsius or below for 7 consecutive day. You'll receive £25 for each 7 day period of very cold weather between 1st November and 31st March.
The workshop revealed that there is a fund of £12 billion of unspent government money dedicated to this problem. It is clear that this money, if freed up could go a long way to improving the lives of those currently living in fuel poverty.
Tom Walsh, Community Ambassador