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‘Millions will be condemned to fuel poverty’

‘Millions will be condemned to fuel poverty’

The Government must take firm action to help the 4.5 million UK households in fuel poverty, Citizens Advice has warned following the latest data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive Citizens Advice said: "Hiding behind the tiny reduction in fuel poverty is the shocking news that 4.5 million households can't afford properly heated homes, including 3.5 million with children, elderly, long-term sick and disabled people. Punishing price rises, falling incomes and severe weather mean that many more who are struggling will be pushed into poverty.

"The Government hasn't put enough money into its Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grants scheme for it to make a real difference, and the Green Deal is practically powerless to help low-income households. The Government's fuel poverty strategy must set out comprehensive plans to eradicate fuel poverty, including legally binding targets. Anything less will condemn millions to another winter in cold, damp and unhealthy homes."

Citizens Advice is concerned that:

* Less than half of ECO funding is ring fenced for fuel-poor households, meaning that many of the most vulnerable will be left without help;
* Despite additional consumer protections, the Green Deal may be open to mis-selling and pressure selling;
* Locking future occupiers into a contract which they did not set up, without any ability to renegotiate is unreasonable.

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George Bailey