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Millions of UK people suffer from fuel poverty


Millions of people in the UK are not able to top up their gas and electricity pre-paid meters, leaving them without power or heating, according to research from Debt Advisory Centre.

The research showed that a quarter of people are reliant on pre-paid meters in their homes as they have had problems paying their bills in the past. Out of these people, 4 million of them can often not afford to top up their meters, with 18% claiming that they are cut-off from their gas meter every few months, while as many as 7% lose their gas supply at least once a week because they can’t afford to top-up the energy key.

Residents in the East Midlands are struggling the most, according to the research, with 63% regularly unable to top-up their gas meters. Residents in the West Midlands and East Midlands had the highest rate of fuel poverty, according to the Government’s Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report 2014.

Melanie Taylor, a spokeswoman for Debt Advisory Centre, said:
“It’s alarming to see how many families are struggling with fuel poverty. As customers on pre-paid meters typically pay more each year for their energy, this means that often, the poorest and most vulnerable people are paying the highest prices. We would like to see more help given to these people so they can switch on to better deals and climb out of fuel poverty.”
Households that spend more than 10% of their income on fuel to keep their home in a satisfactory condition are considered to be in fuel poverty.

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