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A third of Sheffield households who are in fuel poverty still out in the cold

Jason Leman

September 14th 2008

Dear Editor

The Government’s suggestion that householders should borrow against
their homes to partly pay for energy efficiency measures (Star 12
September) is dubious given rising debts and falling house prices are
placing many people in real difficulties. More than that, it shows in
whose interest the Government are really acting. The Government has to
ask householders to pay up because the trumpeted energy efficiency
measures to be funded by energy companies will cover less than a fifth
of those in fuel poverty. The deal does not nearly balance out the
extra £75 in profits the energy companies have made from every
household in the country. These profits were not the result of
improved services, but come from the monopoly these companies have on
energy production and sale.

There is so much more energy companies and the Government could be
doing: clear marking of electrical goods; easy to read electricity
meters to monitor how much people are using; allowing people to pay
bills at post offices again; and helping with winter fuel bills now.
Proper energy conservation measures, like those in Germany where all
the housing stock will be adapted to very low energy use by 2025,
should have begun years ago. A proper windfall tax, with the money
going to those most in need, would give us a start. Instead, all we
have is another half-baked measure to warm the pockets of the energy
companies, leaving the third of Sheffield households who are in fuel
poverty still out in the cold.

Yours faithfully,

Jason Leman
Sheffield Green Party

Topics: Energy, Green New Deal, Housing, Jason Leman, Letters to the press