Energy price hike: Wales to be hit hard due to old housing stock
As the Tory Government in Westminster prepare to pull the plug on financial support for energy bills, the Senedd has been warned that Wales will be hardest hit due to poor housing.
Welsh Government Minister Lesley Griffiths said the expected hike in energy prices coming in April will hit Welsh households particularly hard, “due to the age of the housing stock”.
According to the Office of National Statistics the age of the property is the biggest single factor in energy efficient homes.
Wales has some of the oldest housing stock in the UK and Europe.
The Welsh Government report: Better Homes, Better Wales, Better World – published in July 2019, states that 32% of the Welsh housing stock was built before 1919.
There were no construction standards in terms of thermal performance back then.
Ms Griffiths told the Senedd that it was, “extremely disappointing” that the energy price guarantee is increasing, “from £2,500 for a typical household to £3000 from the beginning of April.
“In Wales many would need to pay far more than £3000 due to the age of the housing stock and the average high standing charges,” she said.
Ms Griffiths added that: “The Welsh Government’s current £380 million package of support includes the Warm Homes Programme which improves energy efficiency of lower income households.
“Eligible lower income households are also benefitting from our £200 support scheme.”
Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant has been campaigning for many months about the issue of forced installation of prepayment metres.
Also speaking in the Senedd, Mr Sargeant said: “It’s a national scandal that thousands of vulnerable people are being forcibly switched to prepayment meters.
“The UK Government, Ofgem and energy suppliers themselves has been queuing up to say that they were going to stop this.
“Switching is still happening, and in just a few weeks the Tory Government in Westminster intend to pull the energy support from under the feet of residents.
“There is a real risk” continued Mr Sargeant, “that people will fall further into debt and that further inappropriate switching (to pre-payment meters) will take place.”
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