Action plan against fuel poverty

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WITH around a quarter of households in Lincolnshire defined as being in “fuel poverty” and the number set to double over the next four years, people struggling to pay their energy bills will find help on its way thanks to a unique action plan.

The plan is designed to tackle fuel poverty and sets out how key organisations will be working together to fulfil ten recommendations including:

l making sure people claim benefits they are entitled to

l bringing poor, existing private sector housing up to a decent standard

l investigating opportunities provided by collective energy switching schemes and district heating to drive down energy costs

l lobbying Government to raise awareness of challenges faced by rural authorities when tackling fuel poverty

Coun Colin Davie, chairman of the Environmental Scrutiny Committee, said: “The problem of fuel poverty is very real in a rural county like Lincolnshire, that isn’t connected everywhere to gas mains, where people do need to rely on other forms of energy.

“If you are struggling, don’t suffer in silence, or let things get on top of you. Contact your district council for more support. People shouldn’t have to choose whether to ‘heat or eat’, this just isn’t right.”

The action plan marks the culmination of a review of how best to tackle fuel poverty in the county, carried out by a special task and finish group of county councillors.