Watchdogs step up fight against fuel poverty

Consumer watchdogs the National Consumer Council (NCC) and Energywatch are urging the Government to force energy companies to provide affordable energy through discounted “social” tariffs. They say the social tariffs should form part of the Government’s upcoming Energy White Paper.

Recommendations published by Energywatch, an arm of energy regulator Ofgem, follow consultation and analysis about the role such tariffs could play in what it says is a “fight against fuel poverty”.

The NCC, meanwhile, is launching a documentary as part of its efforts to lobby the Government. It hopes the documentary, which is told by victims of fuel poverty, will back up its calls for a number of changes which it believes will address what it deems a “Victorian affliction”.

NCC chairman Lord Whitty (pictured) says: “There are now 3 million vulnerable households in fuel poverty and recent cuts in fuel charges cannot, on their own, make that target achievable. The forthcoming Energy White Paper must address fuel poverty as a matter of urgency.

The measures the groups are calling for include more affordable energy tariffs, different payment methods and better-targeted energy efficient programmes.

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