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Fuel bill worries

PUBLISHED: 10:51 01 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 05 July 2010

THE average gas and electricity bill in East Anglia has now soared to £1,273 a year.

According to Age Concern there are more winter deaths in Britain than in colder European countries, such as Finland, Denmark and Austria.

THE average gas and electricity bill in East Anglia has now soared to £1,273 a year.

According to Age Concern there are more winter deaths in Britain than in colder European countries, such as Finland, Denmark and Austria.

The Conservatives have launched a series of proposals to tackle fuel poverty, which would:

Cut the fuel bills of the poorest households by introducing tough new rules that make it illegal for energy companies to charge over the odds on pre-payment meters;

Oblige energy companies to offer “social” tariffs to vulnerable households;

Make energy companies provide information on energy bills that shows customers whether they are on the cheapest tariff available - and if they are not, makes clear how much they would save if they switched to the cheapest tariff, and how to do it; and

Reform Post Office card accounts so that people can pay their utility bills through direct debit style payments, cutting the energy bills of “unbanked” people by £100 per year.

With gas and electricity bills at record highs people across Waveney face their toughest winter for years. Without immediate help many will have to choose between staying warm and going into debt.

It is completely unacceptable that the most vulnerable people on pre-payment meters should be targeted by the energy companies to pay more than their fair share. That should be banned at once.

Moreover, all customers should have the right to be told what the cheapest tariff is - instead of paying more because they are baffled by the complexity of what energy companies offer.

The government must end its dithering and act immediately to save the poorest from spending this winter worrying whether they can afford to keep warm.

PETER ALDOUS

Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Waveney

Wissett

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