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News » WAB Debate


Are You Fuel Poor? Energy Bills - The WAB Debate

Wednesday August 22 2012




STATISTICS have shown that some areas of Barnsley are amongst the worst hit areas in Yorkshire when it comes to people stuggling to pay their energy bills.

Michael Dugher, MP for Barnsley East, says according to the fuel poverty figures, almost 8,000 housesholds in his area are classed as fuel poor (some 20 per cent of the constituency.)

The cost of a typical dual fuel bill is now £1,310 – up by nearly 50 per cent in the last four years.

Michael said: "At a time when families are facing record fuel bills and energy companies are enjoying huge profits, government needs to step in and support families. But this Government’s only answer to rising energy bills is to tell consumers they’re to blame for not shopping around enough and to cut back on the support it is offering to help people heat their homes.

“Ministers should support proposals to put all over-75s on the cheapest tariff and overhaul the energy market to deliver fair prices for all.”

Are you fuel poor? What do you think? Are you struggling to pay rising energy bills or do you have money saving tips that have saved you cash?

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Reply Posted by Rothschild on Wednesday August 22 2012 at 18:46
Now, what people are missing here, is that fuel doesn't cost what they charge you. Since privatisation (Of pretty much everything), prices have been steadily rising above the rate of inflation, why? Because these are private companies, and they can. That is the only reason. They MUST maximise profits, not because its the law, or because there's some sort of moral reason behind it, simply because of the mind set of the individuals running large companies such as these. It seriously does not matter to them if by raising prices, you can no longer afford to take that trip to playzone with your children once a week, or have a nice meal somewhere at the weekend with your other half. If they can get away with it, they will keep raising the price until just before people break and stop paying. This is done over a long period of time of course, so we the stupid people of this world don't notice, and as silly as that sounds, we don't. Personally, i havn't paid a utility bill in almost 2 years, and i refuse to do so until they start to charge fairly for what they are selling, as it is a basic human need now, a human right in all but law. I'm not being destitute because some rich shareholder wants another holiday home.

Reply Posted by c on Thursday August 23 2012 at 09:12
Oh great, your the reason Rothschild that the prices are so high cos YOU don't pay your utility bills so the rest of us have to pay yours. People like you make me sick! I haven't had a night or day out or had a bloody holiday in 7yrs, i don't have anything flash just basic necessities, clothes come from a charity shop. I care for my father who's 82, 24/7. Shame on you!

Reply Posted by Rothschild on Thursday August 23 2012 at 13:03
Unfortunately C, you appear to have missed my point by quite a margin. I understand your anger, but it is very much misplaced here. You care for your father, and that isn't well paid, although in my opinion it should be, and that is more of a contributor to your situation than i could ever be. Also, by me not paying, how do think this cost is somehow passed on to you...?? The fact is, if everyone decided to take a stand and just not pay when the cost is unfair, then this situation would be very different indeed. These people are just too greedy to allow even the smallest opportunity for profit escape, if forced to do so. They would back down.

Reply Posted by Rothschild on Thursday August 23 2012 at 13:19
http://www.castlecover.co.uk/historic-home-utility-prices/ Take a look at this graph and tell me why the only way costs to the consumer is going is up, while the wholesale cost of production is going down? Greed is the answer.

Reply Posted by Rothschild on Thursday August 23 2012 at 13:24
http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2010/nov/20/energy-bills-soar-wholesale-prices This one too...if you can give me a feasible reason these companies are still increasing prices while making more profit, at a time when the lower income consumer is already pushed to the limit, then i am listening.

Reply Posted by Pat Heath, Barnsley CAB on Thursday August 23 2012 at 15:34
There is no doubt that many local families are struggling to make ends meet and are having problems paying their fuel bills. It's not yet winter and already at the end of the first quarter of the financial year, at the end of June, Barnsley CAB has seen an increase of 25% in the number of people coming to us with problems with fuel debt, compared to the same period last year. We are very fearful that things will get worse as winter approaches - when making policy it is surely time that the Government and utility companies took some notice of the problems being caused for many people in Barnsley and elsewhere by high and rising fuel prices

Reply Posted by Cllr Green on Thursday August 30 2012 at 21:09
The price of fuel is good for shareholders but not for customers. The Government should be doing all it can to address the issue of fuel poverty. Having to choose between heating and eating is no fun. Under the last Tory Gov I was struggling to live on benefits and faced exactly that choice. That choice is being faced by many people today. I was listening to Kingstone residents this week talking about their worries over fuel bills. That some energy companies charge people with meters even more is shocking – why should the poorest people have to pay the most? It not fair.
Barnsley CAB show increase of 25% in people seeking advice – doesn’t that tell us something?

Reply Posted by Rothschild on Wednesday September 5 2012 at 18:31
With the greatest of respect Cllr Green, why is it politician's do nothing in situations such as these? You are a politician, and what you should be doing if you were truly looking out for your electorate is telling them what they can do to force the change thats needed, because you and i know that the shareholders and chief execs of these companies WILL keep increasing prices, because they can, to line their own pockets. And, we both know that the same people, shareholders and execs, lobby our government and fund the campaigns of those with proposals that benefit them, and they use our money to do it. How do we stop them ripping us off, given that our government arn't going to help us???

Reply Posted by disgusted british citizen on Friday August 31 2012 at 11:23
this government is a disgrace they before long will drag down to being a 3rd world country that you see on tv asking for handouts although those with vast amounts of money will be ok as is always the case gas electric food even your home is under threat with this governments plans for us less well off folks

Reply Posted by disgusted british citizen on Friday August 31 2012 at 11:23
this government is a disgrace they before long will drag down to being a 3rd world country that you see on tv asking for handouts although those with vast amounts of money will be ok as is always the case gas electric food even your home is under threat with this governments plans for us less well off folks

Reply Posted by disgusted british citizen on Friday August 31 2012 at 11:23
this government is a disgrace they before long will drag down to being a 3rd world country that you see on tv asking for handouts although those with vast amounts of money will be ok as is always the case gas electric food even your home is under threat with this governments plans for us less well off folks

Reply Posted by karen |Smith on Friday August 31 2012 at 11:45
I don't have fuel bill's as such, I have a coal fire which does the heating and hot water. Just used my last little bit of coal for some hot water. Going to be over a month till I can get another bag.

Reply Posted by p on Monday September 3 2012 at 18:02
I use E.ON SaveOnline 9, it actually helps you keep on track, so you know exactly what and how much energy you are using.
To the person who said they no longer pay their energy bill, well you are probably right in what you are saying, how ever it doesn't give you the right to not pay your bill every month like millions of other people.

Reply Posted by Rothschild on Wednesday September 5 2012 at 18:43
P, again with the greatest of respect, it does. I have the right to do as i please, as do you. You choose to pay what you know is an unfair price for a product, i choose not to. What i was trying to get at, is that if alot of people chose to no longer pay for a product that they absolutely need, because it was priced so high they could barely afford it and the benefactors of your payment were already stinking rich and were becoming moreso jus because they were given the right to charge you what they want, then the situation would have to change, for 2 reasons; #1 because they could not prosecute and fine hundreds of thousands of people and cut off there utilities without significant political & civil unrest. Hopefully, our loving government would not allow that to happen and make change before it got to that point. #2 These people would not allow a market that size to pass without some profit being taken, no matter how small. They might threaten to pack up and take their business elsewhere, but, they would have to eventually accept terms to supply their product at a fair price, and reduce their own returns. We all have that right, unless you choose not to exercise it.