Rural communities are bearing the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis” says Ceredigion MP

Ben Lake MP has called on the UK Government to introduce a second round of alternative funding to provide support for off-grid premises ahead of next winter.

The UK Government have announced that support for homes and businesses connected to the mains has grid will be extended for another year, albeit at a reduced rate, but it appears that the single round of alternative funding announced for off-grid households will be expected to last for the full 18 months.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has announced that the Energy Price Guarantee will be extended to April 2024. From April 2023, the annual energy bill of the typical household will increase to £3,000; an estimated £500 saving compared to the expected Ofgem price cap. No equivalent support has been announced for off-grid premises.

During Welsh Questions yesterday, Mr Lake urged the Secretary of State for Wales to push his colleagues in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Treasury to reconsider their position on further support for off-grid premises, and he also asked for clarity regarding the first Alternative Fuel Payment to off-grid homes and businesses which is yet to be made.

Ben Lake MP said:

“The cost-of-living crisis is having a serious impact on those living in rural areas. We know that average earnings in rural areas are lower than those in urban areas, but there is no discount for rural households to the cost of essentials like heating, transport and housing. Indeed, houses in rural areas typically cost more to heat as many are not connected to the gas grid and are less well-insulated. There have also been cuts to bus services in rural areas, so people rely more on car transport.

“Off-grid households and businesses need assurances from the UK Government that they will receive equivalent support over the next 12 months when it comes to their heating and energy bills as those connected to the mains gas grid.

“What is also disappointing is that we are still waiting for full clarity from the UK Government regarding when and how the first Alternative Fuel Payment will be processed. Homes and businesses across Ceredigion are desperately in need of support with their energy bills which have not been protected by a price cap like those on the national grid.”

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  • Carys Lloyd
    published this page in News 2023-01-25 16:03:30 +0000

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