Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole, has pledged her support for ‘Mind the Gap’, a campaign aiming to raise awareness of the help available for people affected by fuel poverty.
The campaign, run by the national charity Turn2us, is focusing on the growing gap between household incomes and the cost of energy bills, and is highlighting the support available to those who are struggling to pay their energy costs.
The campaign features six steps, using Turn2us’ free tools and information to help anyone experiencing these problems. The steps, available at www.turn2us.org.uk/fuelpoverty include checking welfare benefits entitlement, searching for grants and schemes to help with bills, getting help to improve energy efficiency and checking energy tariffs.
Research by the charity found that a staggering 76% of people in the South West region are worried about paying their energy bills this winter. Of those who struggled with these costs last winter, over three-quarters (76%) suffered stress as a result and over two-thirds (43%) were forced to cut back on food or skip meals.
Annette Brooke MP said: “Fuel poverty is an extremely important issue that can have a hugely damaging effect on people from all backgrounds. It’s vitally important that people realise that they do not have to struggle alone and that help is available to help manage energy bills. I’m pleased to be able to support Turn2us’ ‘Mind the Gap’ fuel poverty campaign and I encourage anyone that is worried to take action and use the six steps to manage their bills.”
Alison Taylor, Director of Turn2us said: “Turn2us has launched its winter fuel poverty campaign with the news that more people are worried about finding the money to pay for their energy bills. With the cost of living steadily increasing, people feel like they have no option but to borrow money and cut back on essentials to cover costs. Our research shows that more needs to be done to help raise awareness of the financial support and help available to manage energy bills.
“With our ‘Mind the Gap’ campaign we have brought together a number of free Turn2us tools and information all in one place to help people in financial need maximise their income and manage their energy costs.”
‘Mind the Gap’ runs until 15 February 2014. For more information, please visit www.turn2us.org.uk/fuelpoverty.