New resource tackles fuel poverty in rural Wales

Rural Welsh households struggling with fuel bills will be getting a helping hand as frontline staff are soon to be armed with a special new resource.

NEA Cymru, in partnership with Calor, is today launching a new ‘Off-Gas Advice Pack’ for advisors, AMs, MPs and councillors working with fuel poor households in rural Wales.

Mains gas is not usually available in rural areas, and the range of fuels available for heating are often more expensive. However 21% of Welsh households rely on a fuel other than mains gas to heat their home. Combined with living in older dwellings that are very energy inefficient and cost more to heat, and low incomes, this means that fuel poverty is worse in rural Wales. In fact rural households are twice as likely to be in fuel poverty as those in urban areas.

Helen Roach, Development Officer at NEA Cymru explained: “Although fuel poverty levels are so much higher among rural households than those with access to mains gas, much of the advice currently available is aimed at dual fuel households living in urban areas.  This resource will give advisors knowledge on topics like new and renewable technologies, issues around buying unmetered fuels, reducing heat loss in homes that are difficult or expensive to insulate and funding sources.  Hopefully this information will enable them to help their clients out of fuel poverty so they can live in a warm home, which is affordable to heat.”

Rebecca Hart, Corporate Affairs Manager for Calor, said, “Calor started working on rural fuel poverty back in 2009 because we were worried about the lack of targeted support being provided to the rural fuel poor. Sadly, in 2017, we still have serious concerns regarding access to, and the delivery of, properly targeted help and support for fuel poor and vulnerable householders who live off the gas grid and who want to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. Until this happens we will continue to support the excellent work of NEA Cymru to help people live in energy efficient, warm homes.”

The pack will be free to download in English and Welsh. Click here to read it.



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