Fuel Poverty in the Big Chill

March 9, 2018
Christmas at Kingston-Upon-Thames

It’s been a bit cold, hasn’t it?! Out here in deepest darkest Buckinghamshire (or you know, just off the M1 ;), temperatures got down to minus 7 at times and BOY could you feel it. I’ve had the heating whacked up to high, the log fire has been going, our ski jackets and trousers are out of retirement. We’ve basically be doing anything we can in these frigid temperatures to get warm and toasty.

But we’re the lucky ones. We can afford to stick the thermostat up to 23 if our toes are cold, we can load up the wood burner with some more logs whenever we fancy it, we can take a long hot bath if we’re chilly when coming  in from a snowball fight. Many people in our country can’t: fuel poverty is a real thing here and the reality of how some families are barely surviving in the coldest weather is really quite shocking.

Statistics from the Energy and Utility Alliance show that each year cold homes kill over four times the amount of people as rail and road accidents, with the proportion of households in Fuel Poverty in 2015 England was a whopping 11 per cent, horrifying statistics in a first-world country like ours.

A household is considered to be in Fuel Poverty if it has higher than typical energy costs and would be left with a disposable income below the poverty line if it spent the required money to meet those costs. It captures the fact that fuel poverty is distinct from general poverty: not all poor households are fuel poor, and some households would not normally be considered poor but could be pushed into fuel poverty if they have high energy costs. Fuel poverty is therefore an overlapping problem of households having a low income and facing high energy costs.

It’s one of the many financial injustices in our modern lives where the price of just about everything we require to live – food, energy, housing – is hiked beyond affordable levels.

Not-for-profit energy supplier Our Power is on a mission to bring equality to the energy market, and they’ve just launched their new game-changing +IMPACT tariff. As well as being super-green and cheaper than most Big 6 tariffs (the average household can save £80 a year), +IMPACT will help keep the cost of energy down for families living in fuel poverty;  for every home that switches to +IMPACT, Our Power will help a fuel-poor household heat their home for an extra 54 days. This could be absolutely life-changing for those families in Fuel Poverty who are being forced to choose whether to heat their homes or buy food.

Switching is easy: all you have to do is +IMPACT tariff, enter your postcode and complete a short form.

Could you change your energy provider to help eradicate Fuel Poverty?

 Thank you to Our Power for working with MTT

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