TIVERTON and Honiton MP, Neil Parish, has welcomed government plans to lower energy bills for residents across Devon.
Following the Prime Minister’s promise last month to take action to get people the lowest tariffs for their energy bills, ministers have now announced plans to force energy suppliers to offer their customers the best deals.
Under these proposals, households will no longer face hundreds of tariffs, with energy companies limited to four tariffs per fuel.
Energy companies will have to make bills simpler for customers to understand and outline personalised information on the cheapest tariff they can offer.
With over £300 difference between the cheapest and the most expensive tariffs on the market, the Prime Minister’s action is likely to make a significant difference to Devon's householders worried about their energy bills.
Mr Parish had raised his concerns back in October about the lack of competition in the energy market and the effect it was having on fuel poor households, particularly in rural areas.
He wrote to the energy minister John Hayes MP asking for more support for pensioners and other vulnerable households.
The government’s fuel poverty statistics showed that last year, Tiverton and Honiton was one of the worst 10 areas in the South West for fuel poverty.
Of the 42,066 household in Tiverton and Honiton, 7,712 are deemed 'fuel poor', meaning that they need to spend 10% of their income on fuel to heat their homes on top of their other energy needs.
That accounts for 18.3% of households struggling to pay their energy bills, which Mr Parish said is particularly worrying in an area that is home to many elderly and retired residents, and where wages are 12% below the national average.
"The Prime Minister promised to take action to get people the lowest tariffs and he has delivered," he said.
"‘Households across Devon will welcome this move to get their energy bills down. This action shows that the Government is serious about helping people with the cost of living.
"Along with tax cuts, council tax freezes and all time low interest rates protecting mortgage payment, this action on energy prices will really help with family budgets."