Notts MPs: Time to act on OAPs' fuel bills
NOTTS MPs have called on the Government to force energy companies to put elderly customers onto the cheapest possible tariffs.
The appeal comes after the Post this week reported how old people in Notts are resorting to spending hours in shopping centres because they can't afford to heat their homes.
A survey by the Post and the Nottingham Pensioners' Action Group revealed that 50 per cent of elderly people questioned could not afford to keep warm at home.
Chris Leslie, MP for Nottingham East, said: "I think there is an urgent need to put pressure on energy companies to make sure that some of the oldest people and most vulnerable get the best tariffs for their electricity.
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"The fact that so many elderly people are struggling to pay their bills is quite a shocking indictment of the way we treat a generation who have fought for us."
He also rejected calls to scrap the winter fuel allowance. "I think we should defend it because a lot of people depend on it," he added.
He was echoed by Gedling MP Vernon Coaker, who said: "I think it's scandalous that some are having to resort to going into shopping centres.
"Energy companies have to ensure they are doing everything they can to tackle fuel poverty. And I think this should be enforced by the Government."
Lilian Greenwood, Nottingham South MP, also backed the appeal and Sherwood Conservative MP Mark Spencer said the Government was committed to forcing energy authorities into charging elderly people the lowest tariff.
He also said the Government had recently launched the Green Deal Cashback Scheme, which offers incentives for energy-saving improvements.
E.on said it offered its CaringEnergy service which includes benefit entitlement checks to make sure people were claiming all the benefits they were due, energy efficiency advice and the CaringEnergy Fund which can provide energy efficient household appliances and heating.
EDF has said it is the first and only energy supplier in Britain to ensure its most vulnerable customers are able to benefit from cheapest prices.
Beneficiaries, identified by the Department of Work and Pensions as being pensioners already getting the £130 a year warm home discount – will see their prices matched to its cheapest tariff.
Are you a pensioner who struggles to heat your home? E-mail email@example.com or call 0115 905 1967.