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People could face stark choice between staying warm or eating this winter warns Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities has said that rocketing energy bills could result in some of the Borough’s families making the stark choice between eating and heating their homes this winter.

Cllr Trish Hardy
Cllr Trish Hardy

Cllr Hardy said:

“We’ve already experienced freezing temperatures this week, and I know those struggling to make ends meet, will be grappling with difficult choices.

“They will be trying to decide which bills they prioritise, and for some that may mean going without a decent meal.

“Energy price rises, combined with the Government’s cutting of £20 per week from Universal Credit in October, has resulted in families across Sefton facing a tough winter ahead.

“I want to reassure our communities that our dedicated Affordable Warmth Team are here to help.

“They can help you to heat your home more efficiently and make your bills more affordable. The team are there for people in Sefton dealing with fuel poverty concerns and can help prevent them having to choose between putting food on the table and heating their home.”

In October, the national energy price cap increased by 12% which resulted in an estimated £100 increase on fuel bills each year. The recent gas crisis has pushed those bills up further to well over £200 more compared to last winter. At the same time, people relying on Universal Credit have faced a £1,040 annual drop in their income.

With this in mind, Sefton Council is using Friday’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day to remind the Borough’s families on low incomes to contact the Council’s Affordable Warmth Team by email at energy@sefton.gov.uk or by calling 0151 934 2222, for assistance and advice on a range of topics.

Advice includes support for first time gas central heating, cavity wall insulation, boiler replacements and loft insulation. Smart meters are also available to all homes to help families monitor their energy usage.

Friday 3rd December is Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, spearheaded by National Energy Action (NEA), the national fuel poverty charity. It works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to tackle the root causes of fuel poverty and supports those experiencing it to be able to live in a warm and safe home.

The charity reports that around 10,000 people die across the United Kingdom each year, simply because they are unable to keep their homes warm. And that over 4 million households across the UK are in fuel poverty.