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Call for low cost energy tariffs

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Following recent price hikes to gas and electricity bills, campaign groups have today urged the Government to create low-cost energy tariffs for vulnerable households.

The National Consumer Council (NCC) and National Energy Action (NEA) have called for energy companies to offer cheaper ‘social tariffs’ to worse off customers such as low-income families and elderly people. Both the NCC and NEA have argued that reserve powers are needed in the Energy Bill, due to be read this week, to ensure that companies deliver on their responsibilities.

Philip Cullum, acting chief executive of the NCC, has highlighted the need for a set of social tariffs to protect vulnerable consumers from the worst effects of rising energy prices. He said: “This week’s Energy Bill provides the perfect opportunity to ensure that Government is able to act if the industry fails to do so.”

Jenny Saunders, acting chief executive of NEA, said: “Energy prices are on the upward march again and the number of people who can’t afford to heat their homes is set to soar beyond 4 million. This means the government’s target to end fuel poverty for the most vulnerable by 2010 looks increasingly challenging. Adequate standards for social tariffs would be a vital safety net for people most at risk of fuel poverty.”


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