Mayor’s boiler scheme welcomed as fuel poverty rises in Redbridge

January 4th, 2017

Over 10,500 households in Redbridge are living in fuel poverty, new analysis has revealed.  Nearly 10% of Londoners – almost 350,000 households – are finding it difficult to afford to heat their homes. In response, Mayor Khan launched a £1 million Better Boilers scheme which could cut bills by £150. Londonwide Assembly Member, Tom Copley AM, also urged people to make sure they were on the best deal.

348,216 households across the capital are in fuel poverty according to the latest figures available – an increase of over 22,000 since the previous year. In Redbridge, 10,599 are affected, this means 10.6% of households are in fuel poverty. The main reasons are poorly insulated buildings, high energy costs, and low pay.

Mayor Khan’s pilot scheme will help up to 500 households in London to keep warm this winter by replacing or repairing inefficient or broken boilers with A-rated ultra-low emission appliances. This is expected to reduce annual energy bills by an average of around £150 per household. The new boilers will also reduce carbon emissions and reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Ofgem, the energy market regulator, recently published new data comparing how much customers on standard variable tariffs with each supplier could save by switching to a cheaper deal. Around 66 per cent of all households in the UK are on standard variable tariffs, which Ofgem say are typically more expensive than fixed deals.

Londonwide Labour Assembly Member Tom Copley AM said:

“It’s terrible that so many people in Redbridge are struggling with their energy bills, and in many cases are having to choose whether to heat or eat.

“I welcome the Mayor’s announcement to take action. This scheme will help many Londoners living in cold homes – I look forward to seeing the results of the pilot and hope the scheme can be expanded, to help thousands more struggling with their bills in Redbridge.

“I would also urge people to make sure they are on the best energy deal – over two thirds of households in Britain are on variable tariffs which are usually more expensive than fixed deals.”

Ends

Notes

  • Fuel poverty statistics from 2014 – the most recent figures available – can be found here;
  • Mayor Khan announced the £1m Better Boiler Pilot Scheme at Mayor’s Question Time. A webcast can be found here and more information can be found here;
  • Information about Ofgem’s new table can be found here;
  • The term fuel poverty is applied to households with higher than average fuel costs, which pushes people below the poverty line if they pay their high bills. More information on the definition of fuel poverty can be found here;
  • Tom Copley is a Londonwide Labour Assembly Member

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