Heating Bills Increase Puts Pressure on Poor

Scottish Power is the latest energy company to announce it is to increase its bills by 15 per cent, further putting pressure on domestic heating cost for the vulnerable and the poor.
Scottish Power is the latest utility company to join energy and heating price increases announced previously by British Gas, EDF and nPower, with E.ON expected to follow suit shortly.
A study by charity “Save the Children” has revealed that a fifth of children  under 17 cannot afford to keep their homes warm due to rising cost of heating, gas and electricity. This equates to around 1.4 million families that are finding it difficult to sustain normal heating conditions in the home. The Charity estimates that around 15 per cent of households had to cut back on basic items like food and clothing to be able to afford the heating bills.
The problem is more serious for the poor. 44 percent of households on less than £15,000 annual income cannot afford to heat their home.
OFGEM, the regulatory body has said that people need to ensure they are aware of the various state help available to support them, and should be able to get further advice from their service providers.
Both British Gas and nPower offer special tariffs to help people that are struggling with the high cost of heating and electricity. Scottish Power announced that it was launching measure to support vulnerable people and EDF is introducing discounts to help with the high heating cost increases.
The heating costs not only put pressure on the customers but also increase the pressure on the plumbers and heating engineers, as it leaves less free income to dedicate to home improvements. Plumbers and heating engineers have also felt the pinch of the increasing cost of heating, through lower rate of boiler replacements and other central heating jobs that have kept the plumbers and heating engineers very busy during the recent buoyant years of high increases in property prices.