7 September 2022 – today’s (other) press release

Rural families in fuel poverty risk becoming “forgotten victims” as they face £450 bigger hit from energy price rise

Families living in fuel poverty in rural areas are set to be left £450 poorer than urban ones by October’s energy price rise, research commissioned by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The analysis by the House of Commons Library shows that the average “fuel poverty gap,” the additional income that would be needed to bring a household to the point of not being fuel poor, is set to rise to a staggering £1,050 in rural areas in October. This compares to a projected fuel poverty gap of £600 in urban areas. It means fuel poor homes in rural areas will need around twice as much support to bring them out of fuel poverty than those in urban areas.

Meanwhile, rural households with the poorest insulation rating (energy efficiency rating of F or G) are expected to see a shocking average fuel poverty gap of £3,350.

The Liberal Democrats want to see the new Prime Minister provide extra support with energy bills for people living in rural communities, warning they risk becoming the “forgotten victims” of the crisis. This includes extra support for off-grid homes reliant on heating oil which isn’t subject to Ofgem’s energy price cap.

Liberal Democrat Rural Affairs Spokesperson Tim Farron said:

The Conservatives have had months to set out a plan to tackle soaring energy bills. Instead, families and pensioners have been left worrying day and night about how they will get through the winter.

Families in rural communities are set to be hardest hit by this tsunami of soaring heating costs.

The new energy package must take into account the rural fuel poverty gap and provide extra targeted support for those who need it. That must include those in off-grid homes who rely on heating oil or other energy sources.

People living in the countryside are fed up with being overlooked and taken for granted by the Conservatives. Rural households must not be allowed to become the forgotten victims of this energy crisis.

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