April 22, 2022 4.00 pm

Fuel poverty threat: Councillor demands action as energy bills soar

People face paying thousands

By Local Democracy Reporter

Urgent action is needed to help the thousands of North Kesteven residents who will struggle to pay fuel bills, a councillor has warned.

Councillor David Suiter wants to see more help for working families, including a VAT cut on energy bills, expanded benefits, and a windfall tax on fossil fuel producing companies to keep prices affordable.

He is asking North Kesteven District Council to call directly for government action as the cost of living soars.

“There is a serious threat of fuel poverty to many residents of North Kesteven,” he said in a motion to go before council.

“In the last few months global energy costs have risen dramatically. In response the government have announced a scheme to increase the cap on energy bills, and provide some welcome compensation through council tax rebates and pay back loans. However more help is needed.”

He says low-income one-parent families could be spending nearly half of their income after housing on energy bills alone.

Others will face annual bills as high as £2,000.

Councillor Suiter, who is part of the NK Independents Group, will be putting his motion before the council on Thursday, April 28.

It says: “North Kesteven District Council calls on the government to act now and far more effectively on the national crisis in energy prices and unsustainable supply, to protect thousands of low and middle income North Kesteven residents who will get nothing or little from the council tax rebate plan or payback loan.

“We call on the government to take the following actions:

  1. Increase substantially the Warm Homes Discount for poorer households, and expand the category of households eligible to include all in receipt of either Pension Credit or working age benefits
  2. Levy windfall taxes on fossil fuel producing companies
  3. Remove from energy bills the burden of paying the debts of failed energy companies since OFGEM failed to require them to protect themselves against wholesale cost increase
  4. Cut VAT on energy bills and insulation
  5. More support for Renewable Energy and long term investment in energy efficiency by home owners, council and other social landlords, private rental tenants and businesses.”