Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham is supporting Stockton Borough Council’s motion calling on the government to take urgent action to ensure elderly customers are automatically put on the lowest available energy tariff.
Writing to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey MP, Alex strongly urged him to tackle the problem of rising energy bills – one of the biggest cost families and pensioners in Stockton face, with the average household now paying £1,345 per year for gas and electricity.
In his letter he said: “The Borough Council has been a leader in tackling fuel poverty. It hosted the very first of five pilot Warm Zones over 10 years ago and saw thousands of households taken out of fuel poverty, and were then first out of the blocks for another scheme GoWarm which saw even more people see their energy consumptions drop thanks to insulation and other measures to their homes. A third initiative currently underway through the CESP scheme is treating hundreds of hard to heat, solid wall homes, with external insulation and heating.
“All these initiatives have seen the Council serve local people well – but many of the thousands of people helped, have slipped back into fuel poverty as prices have escalated. The Council have seen the success of many schemes but now want to know that else government is prepared to do to ensure all customers get the best deal from their energy provider?
Stockton Council are calling on the Government to urge the Big 6 energy companies to automatically move their more elderly customers – those over 75 – onto the cheapest tariff they offer for their gas and electricity and, if necessary, to legislate to bind energy companies to ensuring every year that their elderly customers are on the lowest available tariff.
“With more than 400 tariffs on offer, it’s no surprise that families, and particularly the elderly, in Stockton North are paying over the odds for their electricity and gas bills. This rip-off must end.
“I strongly welcome Stockton Council’s motion to ensure the elderly, who very often pay more for energy because they lack internet access, which means they can’t get information about the best deals from price comparison websites, are automatically put onto the cheapest tariff.
“The Government must act on this to ensure energy firms to show greater responsibility to their most vulnerable customers.”