Ceredigion MP calls for urgent measures to safeguard families from rising fuel costs


Recent figures by the Office for National Statistics show that Wales has faced highest energy bills in the whole of the UK, with four Welsh local authorities (Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Carmarthenshire, and Powys) in the top ten counties for highest energy bills. 

Heating oil prices have more than doubled in recent weeks, leaving many rural homes facing sky high energy bills. Heating oil prices are linked to oil prices more generally, and following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prices have increased rapidly. Costs are now sitting at 155.35p a litre, up from 68.66p on 24 February, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, according to Boiler Juice. This is an increase of 126 per cent. 

Rural homes are also facing long delays receiving deliveries of oil and LPG as the ongoing HGV driver shortage has left providers struggling to fulfil orders. 

Ben Lake MP has called for an urgent statement from the UK Government on rising fuel and energy costs, and their impact on rural areas, and on the possibility of introducing temporary rebate schemes to help alleviate some of this cost. Mr Lake made a further speech on the cost-of-iving crisis in the House of Commons earlier this week. 

During his speech, Ben Lake MP said:  

“The cost-of-living crisis is already hitting our communities hard. The situation is especially acute in rural areas like mine in Ceredigion, where rising fuel and energy prices are inflicting a heavy toll on household finances.  

“Nearly a fifth of households in Wales are not connected to the gas grid, and in rural areas like Ceredigion the figure can be as high as 80%, meaning they are completely unprotected from spikes in energy prices. Constituents have seen the price of heating oil treble since September, and many have been informed this week that delivery to parts of Ceredigion is currently unavailable. With rural fuel poverty already at some 14%, I fear for my constituents if the situation continues.  

“I support the Energy Pricing (Off Gas Grid Households) Bill, proposed by Drew Hendry MP which would at least bring off-grid homes into some sort of regulatory arrangement that would mitigate them in respect of some of the more volatile differences in the energy market.” 

To further mitigate the cost-of-living crisis for people in rural areas, Ben Lake MP has called for the Rural Fuel Duty Relief scheme to be extended to Wales. 

The Rural Fuel Duty Relief allows retailers to claim back up to 5p per litre duty relief on unleaded petrol and diesel, and pass on the savings to customers, covering 17 areas of England and Scotland, including parts of the Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Northumberland, Cumbria, Devon, and North Yorkshire. However, no areas of Wales are currently eligible for the scheme. 

Ben Lake MP added: “Rising energy costs are matched by rising fuel costs, and in rural areas the lack of public transport infrastructure forces many to be dependent on private car use. Some 80% of commuters depend on the car, so it is a real concern when pump prices increase by some 10p a litre in a matter of days. I have been told that some stations in my constituency have seen increases of 15% or even 20% in the past week or so. 

“It is crucial that the UK Government takes every possible step to mitigate the impact on those most exposed to rising prices.” 

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  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2022-03-16 12:56:24 +0000

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