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Lib Dems call for energy saving scheme to be extended to 3,174 Woking homes amidst Covid-19 crisis

April 26, 2020 4:02 PM
By Cllr Will Forster
Originally published by Woking Liberal Democrats
Will Forster with solar panelsThe Lib Dems are calling on the Government to extend a scheme that saves £140 on energy bills to households struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic helping an estimated 3,174 homes across Woking Borough.

In a warning from the Lib Dem Climate Change Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse, the MP said these measures were needed before families are forced "to choose between heating their home or eating".

The party's plans would see all households that fall into the government definition of fuel poverty access the Warm Homes Discount. The move would see some 2.5 million households across the UK - many of whom are not currently eligible for the scheme - benefit from £140 credit on their energy bills.

In a letter to the Government backed by a cross-party group of 28 MPs Ministers have also been encouraged to bring forward plans to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the country in order to reduce fuel poverty in the long term. This comes on top of Lib Dem proposals to scrap VAT on energy bills and freeze Council Tax during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Lib Dem Environment Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse MP said:

"No-one should ever have to choose between heating their home or eating let alone in the face of the current health crisis. It is essential that the Government takes action to ensure no one is forced to do so."

"I am therefore delighted so many cross-party colleagues across the House of Commons have joined me in writing to the Business Secretary to back this proposal."

Lib Dem Spokesperson for Woking, Councillor Will Forster, added:

"The Government already offers a Warm Home Discount on fuel to the poorest pensioners. Extending this to all those who meet the current definition for fuel poverty - 3,174 across Woking and 37,473 across Surrey - would make an enormous difference to thousands including many families with children."

"We are also calling for a more focused effort to end fuel poverty permanently such as more insulation. This would be a win for both society and the environment: with better insulation, less energy is needed, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels."