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£26m Energy Bill Hike Hits Cornwall

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7:02am 22nd November 2013

We are warned this could be the coldest winter in decades and Cornwall will be made to pay £26m more for it.

That is how much a report says our energy bills are set to rise because of the latest round of price hikes.

More than fourteen thousand families in the Duchy are already officially in fuel poverty and now there are fears that number is set to rocket.

British Gas has already announced electricity price increases of 10.4%, following SSE's 8.2% increase with the other big companies following.

There is a warning the poorest families in the Duchy could wind up shouldering £1.7m of the burden, choosing between eating or heating.

Adrian Wright from Happy Energy said: "Another winter and another year of price hikes now look like being compounded by predictions of hte worst winter for 60 years is the last thing that households across Cornwall wanted to hear - especially as our geographic location means many of the properties across Cornwall can not access mains gas, making homes more expensive to heat in the winter.

"Whilst we have had a mild end to the summer and start to the autumn, cold weather and snow is forecasted for the end of November with some forecasters predicting this will be the coldest winter for 100 years. Because of this pressure on households in Cornwall will only increase even further."

He added that he was "amazed" more people were not taking up offers of discounted or subsidised energy efficiency measures: "Under the government's ECO (Energy Company Obligation) initiative – which is ironically being funded by the energy companies themselves, some of which are the ones putting the prices up – households, whether in receipt of benefits or not, can access a range of measures that will either be completely free of charge or heavily subsidised – all of which will significantly reduce heating bills. Yet we are amazed that more people aren't coming forward to at least find out what's available to them.

"We are not sure if there is some suspicion or reluctance surrounding these types of 'Government-led' initiatives or if people feel they will be too complicated or time consuming to take up, but the fact is that they are real and there to help, simple to apply for and access."

7:02am 22nd November 2013

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