I think I can count on one hand the number of mornings I’ve had to scrape the ice from my windscreen and our boiler repair teams don’t look quite as tired as they did two years ago when I think every boiler condenser pipe in the city froze over!
So why, even despite a relatively mild few months, are some people in our city still having to choose whether to ‘eat’ or ‘heat’?
The cost of living is clearly going to be a big topic of debate as the political parties gear up for next year’s General Election.
Without question, for thousands living in Wolverhampton – and millions of others across the UK – the cost of living is increasing, and the price hikes this winter from the ‘big six’ energy companies, is making a difficult situation even harder.
Last week we took part in National Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. In Wolverhampton – statistics suggest that an astounding 14,700 homes are still living in fuel poverty. That’s thousands of families with young children or vulnerable older people who are struggling to pay to heat their homes.
|Picture of Councillor Reynolds with our |
Climate Change Team
Last week, our climate change team met up with a leading local councillor to encourage our tenants to take up our free home energy visits in a bid to save a few pounds on their energy bills.
They spoke with one tenant, Diane, who reckons she’s saving more than £200 a year on her fuel bills after we’d helped install solar panels on her roof and completed the insulation of her home. That’s actually a huge saving when you come to think of it. Couple that with other energy saving measures like new light bulbs and knocking the thermostat down a bit, and it all adds up.
But with the rising price of energy seemingly unstoppable, it just feels a shame that we risk wiping out those savings from the pockets of those who need it most.
We’ll continue to do our bit to make sure that our homes are as warm as they can be and that help is available to anyone who’s having to choose between eating and heating – perhaps it’s time energy companies did the same?