John urges more action to cut energy bills
LOCAL MP John Healey is urging the Government to use carbon taxes to cut energy bills and tackle fuel poverty.
He has written to the energy secretary Ed Davey asking him to step in with schemes to fit insulation and energy efficiency measures, to make homes warmer and cheaper to heat.
Mr Healey said: “This is another winter when people will worry about turning on their heating and struggle to pay their fuel bills.
“Cold, badly-insulated homes damage people’s health.
“Making homes warmer and more efficient will help cut energy bills, tackle fuel poverty, create jobs and cut carbon emissions.
“Next year, for the first time since the 1970s, the UK won’t have a Government-funded energy efficiency programme, because Labour’s Warm Front scheme – which has helped make 2 million low-income homes warmer – has been scrapped.
“Yet the number of families in fuel poverty will more than double to 8.5 million by 2016. The Government must do more.”
Mr Healey also encouraged local people to call a free helpline to find out about schemes currently running, after new figures showed one in five households in the Wentworth & Dearne constituency are entitled to help with cutting their energy bills.
The Home Heat Helpline (0800 33 66 99) connects people and families on low incomes and those in poor health with support which is worth an average of £160. The help available includes grants for insulation, new boilers, discount and rebate schemes.
The organisation’s research says 7,700 households in Wentworth & Dearne are eligible for help.
Mr Healey said: “Many people don’t realise what support is available. Anyone who is concerned about staying warm should call the Home Heat Helpline and seek advice.
“I would also ask people to look out for neighbours, friends or relatives who may be in difficulty and make sure they are aware of the helpline.”
The service is also available online – at www.homeheathelpline.org.uk – where a new ‘energy checker’ will show if you are entitled to help.