Pirate FM News

Families Sell Car to Keep Heating on

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Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 6:01am 18th June 2012

Pirate FM has learnt some parents in Cornwall are being forced to sell their car to keep the heating on.

A new report reveals one in five families in parts of the Duchy are locked into fuel poverty.

St Ives ranks as worst in Cornwall and second worst in the southwest. More than 21% of households are spending more than 10% of their income on heating and power.

But experts warn the numbers could rise this year because of increases in bills.

Lisa Barnett from St Ives has a three year old and one year old. She said, "Every day is very, very difficult. I have to keep an eye on the meters, how much I'm spending. I've had to cut down on the amount of washing I'm doing. I've had to sell my car - I can't afford to run that because I have to pay other bills.

"I don't have the heating on in my house for my three year old and my one year old because I can't afford to keep it on all the time. They have to wear jumpers. I should be able to heat my house for my kids, but I can't."

Three Ways to Cut Your Bills

  • Consider switching suppliers and fixing your bills for a certain length of time. There are lots of different comparison sites to help you do that. If your fixed term is coming to an end, shop around for another deal. But remember to give the comparison site the price you will be paying after the deal comes to an end, not the one you are paying now.
  • Making sure you have the right insulation can save you £120 a year, according to The Energy Saving Trust.
  • Making small changes can make a big difference. Remember to shut your curtains at night around your home to stop heat escaping. Turn appliances off properly, don't just leave them in standby. Check things like music systems, TVs, DVDs and computer monitors. A lot of them use power even if you aren't using them. This so-called "phantom energy" can be up to five percent of your entire electricity bi
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