MP acts over energy price hikes

PUBLISHED: 12:26 20 November 2012

Archant

Neil Parish writes to Minister for Energy following complaints from constituents.

Local MP Neil Parish has written to the Minister for Energy, calling for more to be done to cut energy bills for pensioners and the rurally poor.

He wrote to John Hayes MP following concerns raised by constituents about big hikes in gas and electricity prices.

Mr Parish, Conservative MP for Tiverton and Honiton, says he wants the minister to “look into this matter and to ensure that policies, like the Green Deal and Warm Front Discount Scheme that aim to help people become more fuel efficient and cut energy bills, are better crafted to support pensioners and rural poor”.

In a letter to Honiton Senior Voice, which has raised concerns about domestic energy prices, Mr Parish said: “Lack of competition in the energy market and green policies that aim to cut our emissions are driving up gas and electricity bills and more must be done to protect the poor and vulnerable in our communities.

“Devon is home to many pensioners who are already struggling with their bills and are not getting the support they need.

“The Government is taking action to reduce people’s bills by making them more energy efficient.

“The Green Deal will allow every home and business to install packages of energy-saving technologies such as insulation worth up to £10,000, at no upfront cost, with the repayments made over time out of the energy savings as well as the Warm Home Discount scheme.”

Mr Parish added: “However, I do have concerns that many residents in Devon will not be able to take advantage of this offer.

“These buildings are often listed or have traditional windows and cannot be replaced with double glazing or have solid walls which are difficult to insulate.

“Many rural households would end up paying more for the insulation than they would save on their energy bills.

“It is something that urgently needs addressing and I will be writing to the Energy Secretary asking for his assurance that consumers get the best deal from their energy providers and that greater support is given to vulnerable households, particularly those that use heating oil.”

Honiton Senior Voice had told Mr Parish: “The concerns expressed by the Prime Minister and yourself about fuel bills appear to be having little effect.

“We are not aware that consumers are being offered genuine competition or the lowest tariff. Quite the reverse.

“Prices will add £130 to fuel bills, a rise of 156 per cent since 2004.”


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