Memorandum submitted by Selwood Tenants' Voice (FP 16)

 

Progress against Government targets

The definition of households in fuel poverty commonly used - ie, those households where more than 10% of income has to be spent on fuel for adequate heating

The coherence of the Government's initiatives on energy efficiency

The methods used to target assistance at households which need it most

People are being targeted to go onto PPMs, we believe this is around 1000 people per day - this is as a result of a debt owed to the utility companies. The average debt is around 500 for dual fuel.

 

This means that an unfair proportion of the money that goes into the debt repayment is controlled by the pre-payment meter. This is not the same with other debts which can be renegotiated through the common financial statement work of money advisers.
This is a really important issue that is being missed as the foregoing on other debts can lead to homelessness (rent) and prison (council tax). The prevalence of doorstep/illegal lenders in areas which are also areas where there are lots of PPMs installed is a self-perpetuating problem

 

Just because a house is in debt should not mean that the incoming tenant is black listed too. As an RSL where we have evicted people for non-payment of rent this is likely to also mean there has been no payment of other utilities. We do not black list the new incoming tenant and see no reason why other organisations should do this. This is discriminatory. There is a cost to remove the PPM of 50, again this could be perceived as discriminatory.


OFGEM say is it acceptable that the difference between a direct debit tariff and a PPM tariff is 86 per year. The National Energy Campaign Group still perceives this difference to be in the region of 300 per annum. We believe 86 is too great as the cost of this does not reflect the difference between the collection costs of a direct debit and a PayPoint (for eg.) card.

Social tariffs and plans to put social price support on a statutory footing

Winter fuel payments and cold weather payments

Should these be revisited as it is just as hard for single mother and people with disabilities to heat their home as it is pensioner.

Support for households which are not connected to the mains gas grid

 


February 2010