Households in Wales encouraged to get a better energy deal for Fuel Poverty Awareness Day

23 March 2015

The aim of the day is to help draw attention to the 1 in 3 households in Wales unable to afford to heat their homes to an adequate level for their health and wellbeing.

Mark Isherwood, Assembly Member and chair of the National Assembly’s cross party group on fuel poverty said: “Earlier this week we heard from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that customers of the BIG 6 energy suppliers are missing out on hundreds of pounds of savings by not switching. The Cyd Cymru-Wales Together scheme which is currently running until 1 March is the perfect time to see if you can save money on your energy bills by getting a cheaper deal.”

Commenting on the importance of the campaign which has been developed by National Energy Action as part of its wider work to support low income and vulnerable households at risk of fuel poverty, Mark Isherwood said: “I am really pleased to be supporting National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. I know only too well that living in cold, damp homes, can be detrimental to a person’s health, particularly if they are already suffering from health problems. I would urge people to find out more about the scheme to see if they can save money.”

Carole Morgan-Jones, Director, NEA Cymru commented: Collective switching will not solve fuel poverty in itself but we know from research and the CMA’s own findings that lower income groups and those struggling financially have more to gain from participation in such schemes as they are less likely to have shopped around for a better energy deal.

Unfortunately consumers in Wales have some of the lowest levels of switching energy supplier in the UK and many households are completely disengaged with the energy market. A great deal of work needs to be done by the major energy suppliers to rebuild consumer trust. “

Cyd Cymru / Wales Together is a collective energy switching scheme which brings people together and negotiates better energy deals on their behalf. Last year Cyd Cymru / Wales Together helped over 1,500households in Wales switch to a specially negotiated cheaper energy tariff, saving them an average of £185per household.

Registration is simple. You can register here or by calling the contact centre on 0800 093 5902 . It’s free to register, free to switch, and available to everyone who lives in Wales.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

  • For all enquiries please contact NEA’s Communications Team on 0191 261 5677.
  • Fuel Poverty Awareness Day 2015 will take place on 27 February and aims to raise awareness of the issue of fuel poverty across the UK.
  • The Cyd Cymru/Wales Together collective switching project is run by Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan councils. More information about Cyd Cymru can be found on their website.
  • NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth. For further details visit http://www.nea.org.uk
  • NEA campaigns for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. To date NEA has helped over 7.5 million households in the UK gain access to energy advice and energy efficiency grants.
  • Fuel poverty results from a combination of factors: low household income; unaffordable energy prices; and inadequate heating and insulation standards. The consequences of fuel poverty range from psychological distress, social isolation and physical discomfort to causing or exacerbating serious illness and, in the most extreme cases, to premature death.
  • In Wales fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend over 10% of household income on fuel costs to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort. Almost 1 in 3 (30%) of households in Wales were living in fuel poverty in 2012, equating to 386,000 homes. 328,000 of these are believed to be vulnerable households (containing a child, older person, or someone who is disabled or has a long term illness). http://wales.gov.uk/docs/caecd/research/130430-wales-fuel-poverty-projection-tool-2011-12-report-en.pdf
  • One of the most significant impacts of fuel poverty is on health. It is estimated that poor housing costs the NHS in Wales around £67m a year. When factors such as children’s poor educational attainment and reduced life chances are taken into account, the total cost to society is estimated at £168m a year.
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