Jo Swinson welcomes fuel poverty helpline

The Home Heat Helpline is designed to help vulnerable energy customers concerned about their energy bills this winter

Jo has welcomed a new helpline for East Dunbartonshire residents concerned about their energy bills this winter.

The Energy Retail Association, representing Britain’s domestic energy retailers, has launched the Home Heat Helpline. The helpline is a freephone number providing vulnerable energy customers with help to find their most suitable energy tariff, advice on flexible payment options and information on grants for free home insulation.

The Home Heat Helpline number is 0800 336699.

According to research by the Energy Retail Association, 75% of people say that the credit crunch has made them more concerned about saving energy.

Jo said:

“It is important that people facing worries over paying their fuel bills this winter know where to seek help and advice. The threat of high bills to come can be a source of anxiety at this time of year – people who are concerned about their bills should use this helpline for information on cheaper fuel tariffs, flexible payment options and home insulation grants.

“7,000 households in East Dunbartonshire will spend this winter in fuel poverty. This is a scandal, but nobody should be suffering in silence instead of using the help that is available to them.

Jo also urged energy companies to pass falls in wholesale energy prices to customers more quickly. She said:

“As well as getting together to provide this helpline, there are much more substantial steps that energy companies should be taking. Wholesale fuel prices have dropped 28% since August, but utility companies have been slow to pass these price drops on to consumers. With 4 out of 5 single pensioners facing fuel poverty across the UK this winter, energy companies must show a more responsible approach and cut their tariffs as wholesale prices drop.”

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