Andrew Jones MP
Andrew Jones MP

MP wins fuel bill assurances for ‘off-grid’ residents

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The Government announcement that households will receive a rebate off their fuel bills of £400 was welcome news particularly for those most struggling with the increase in energy costs. The rebate will be made by energy companies and is expected to be taken off people’s bills in the autumn.

However, not all homes receive their gas and electricity from a conventional energy provider. This is particularly true for many caravan park residents who get their gas from LPG bottles and are re-billed by the site owner for electricity. These people would not have benefited from the current scheme to reduce bills.

In the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency, there are around 400 homes who receive their energy in this way and would have missed out on the discount. Local MP Andrew Jones wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on their behalf asking that measures be put in place to support people living ‘off grid’. Ministers have responded that households, such as those living in park homes, that do not have a direct relationship with energy suppliers will receive equivalent support to those that receive their energy conventionally.

Mr Jones commented:

The costs re-billed to park home residents are going up just the same as for everyone else and the cost of LPG gas bottles has shot up. It is important that we do not leave those people behind because they are experiencing the same cost of living increases but live ‘off grid’.

That is why I was so pleased that the Treasury responded positively to my letter highlighting the issues faced by park home residents.

The Government will announce details of how the new scheme is to be administered in the autumn.

Mr Jones continued:

I am also concerned about reports that some renters who pay their fuel bills via their rent may miss out if their landlords do not pass the discount on and so am encouraging the government to put in place measures to ensure that the discount is passed on to tenants.

Some people – again primarily renters – pay for fuel through pre-payment cards. These are often the least well-off and use what is already an expensive method of buying electricity. I am writing to the Treasury to ensure these people are not left behind either.

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