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Fuel poverty map figures for Keighley district ‘shocking’
3:00pm Friday 4th January 2013 in News
A new map has revealed the scale of fuel poverty across the district – with residents in some areas spending almost half their household income on energy bills.
The statistics – collected by Turn2us, part of national charity Elizabeth Finn Care – show that in the BD21 postcode area, which covers Keighley, one respondent to a survey said they were in “very high fuel poverty”, spending 46 per cent of their household budget on gas and electricity.
A Keighley councillor described the statistic from his ward area as “shocking”, and said there would be many more struggling with their bills this winter.
Coun Abid Hussain (Lab, Keighley Central) added: “This won’t just be one person, there will be more people struggling to cope.
“A lot of energy companies raise their prices in winter and that’s just wrong. It’s causing more difficulty, especially older people who experience a lot of problems because they need to stay warm to keep themselves going.”
Fuel poverty statistics have been put on an interactive map by the charity, which asked people to submit their location, monthly income and monthly fuel expenditure to calculate whether they are in fuel poverty.
Since its launch, more than 2,800 people in the UK have completed the map, and of those in Yorkshire and the Humber, 71 per cent are spending ten per cent or more of their household income on gas and electricity.
Turn2us director Alison Taylor said: “We have seen a huge rise, compared to last year, in the number of people visiting our fuel poverty website to complete the map and look for financial help, and we are hearing some very distressing stories from those who are being hit hardest.
“With further energy price rises, combined with the increased costs of other basic life essentials and, for some, falling incomes, it is inevitable that growing numbers of households will be affected.”