County is worst for fuel bills

PARTS OF Suffolk are the worst areas for fuel poverty in the country, according to figures released today.

Up to 14% of households in Eriswell and the surrounding area are officially in fuel poverty, which is when a household spends more than 10% of its income on heating the property to a reasonable level.

And across Suffolk, 1,500 homes are in fuel poverty – accounting for more than a quarter of those in the eastern region – with Pakenham, Ringshall and Rendlesham all suffering.

This is a particular problem for rural areas because they are often not connected to mains gas.

Older buildings also tend to be harder to insulate and so cost more to heat.

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The study was commissioned by energy company Calor as part of the launch of energy efficiency initiative FREE, Future of Rural Energy England, in conjunction with local agencies.

David Wood, chief executive of Rural Action East, which is taking part in FREE, said: “Often the worst affected are the elderly who are living on a state pension and perhaps are not taking advantage of pension benefits.

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“If they live in an older property, it can be a problem for them to heat a big house which is no longer filled by a whole family.

“We are looking to advise them on how to apply for grants to insulate lofts and make their homes more efficient and easier to heat.”

There will be an energy efficiency roadshow starting in October.

Anyone looking for more information can contact Suffolk ACRE on 0845 2500508.

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