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20/21 January 2009
Almost 1 in 7 of people have cut down on heating their home
68% of people
in the North West responsible for the cost of heating their home
have cut down on their gas, electricity and home heating more than
they would like in the past year in order to cut costs according to
a new survey from the National Housing Federation. These finding
have come as sub-zero temperatures have hit the region.
The YouGov survey, commissioned by the Federation also found that
31% of those surveyed said they spend more than 10% of their monthly
income on gas and electricity bills. And millions of prepay
meter customer, who have an average household income of just
£13,500, should not have to pay for the costs of supplying and
maintaining the meters, according to 75% of people responsible for
the cost of heating their home.
The poll found just 3% thought the energy regulator was doing a good
job of protecting vulnerable customers, with 51% saying it had done
a poor one. Britain's 2.5m gas prepay customers have an
average household income of just £13,500 and have been amongst those
hardest hit by the economic downturn.
British Gas has heaped further misery on its 1m prepay customers by
charging them a premium of up £40 a year more for gas than those
paying their bills quarterly. British Gas' competitors have
all scrapped their unpopular prepay surcharges following criticism
from customers, campaigners and politicians over rip off prices.
Federation North West regional manager Sallie Bridgen said:-
"The spiralling cost of energy and the impact of the recession mean
heating our homes has is becoming a luxury rather than a basic human
necessity. With so many people living in fuel poverty this poll
highlights how the elderly, low paid and unemployed are being hit
hardest. These findings come as the region experiences what some are
saying is the coldest winter since 1963.
The survey shows that the overwhelming majority of people in the
North West think that prepayment meter customers pay too much for
their energy and that Ofgem has simply failed in its duty to protect
vulnerable customers. Three out of ten of people surveyed said they
spend more than 10% of their monthly income on gas and electricity
British Gas should do the right thing and stop discriminating
against some of its poorest customers by scrapping its hugely
unpopular prepay premium and start charging them the same as its
quarterly billed customers. Energy suppliers have a legitimate right
to fit meters to recover debts, but to then penalise hard up people
by forcing them to pay higher prices for their energy is an
Search is on for Voice of the Year!
Group, the team behind Horse of the Year Show and the British Open
Show Jumping Championships, is staging a search for a new voice in
equestrian commentating. Grandstand Group is looking for someone who
admires the work of world-renowned commentators such as Mike Tucker
or Nick Brooks-Ward, the voices presenting the biggest equestrian
national and international events for live audiences and television
coverage, and who feel they have the perfect tone and personality to
commentate on prestigious sporting equestrian events.
Grandstand Group is now taking entries for those who feel destined
for the commentary box! For your chance to introduce world-class
riders and famous displays at Horse of the Year Show and the British
Open Show Jumping Championships, visit either
details on how to enter and the competition terms and conditions.
The finals will be held at the British Open 2010 in April and will
be judged by three special guest judges. The winner will join the
HOYS 2010 commentary team to be part of the world’s most famous
horse show in October. Entries close on 3 February
The British Open Show Jumping Championships takes place at the NEC,
Birmingham from Wednesday 7 April to Saturday 10 April 2010. For
tickets, call the Box Office on:- 0844 581 1301 or visit the
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