Give homes not connected to the gas grid 1,000 litres of heating oil says Plaid Cymru MP
A voucher scheme should be introduced to provide 1,000 litres worth of heating oil to homes not connected to the gas grid, a Plaid Cymru MP has said.
Ceredigion MP Ben Lake, whose constituency has the highest proportion of properties not connected to the mains gas grid on mainland Britain, said it would be “immoral” for the UK Government to punish non-gas households with a “substandard support package”.
Speaking ahead of a debate in Parliament on energy costs in Wales this afternoon, Mr Lake has proposed a scheme for households to purchase 1,000 litres of heating oil or equivalent volume of liquid propane gas (LPG) which would reflect a “commensurate level of support” to that provided for households connected to the mains gas grid.
Currently, those reliant on heating oil and LPG have been offered a one-off payment of £100, which Mr Lake described as “pitiful”.
“It is unacceptable that in an advanced economy such as that of the UK, thousands of families will be unable to afford to heat their homes this winter,” he said.
“The UK Government has detailed its plan to help households connected to the mains gas grid, but we still await details of the support that will be offered to those not connected to the mains gas grid.
“These households are reliant on heating oil and LPG, and are facing eye-watering increases to their heating bills. An offer of £100, with no explanation of how eligible households will receive it, is a pitiful attempt by the Government to ensure commensurate support is available to off-grid properties.
“Plaid Cymru is proposing a voucher scheme for households to purchase 1,000 litres of heating oil or equivalent volume of LPG to heat their homes this winter. That would represent a commensurate level of support to that already offered to households covered by the Energy Price Guarantee.
“Households that are not connected to the mains gas grid are mostly found in rural and deprived post-industrial areas of Wales. They already face higher costs due to poor insulation, poor transport infrastructure, and poor local amenities. To further punish those households with a substandard support package is immoral.
“We are facing a bleak winter. While the UK Government chooses to look the other way, Plaid Cymru is providing positive solutions to help families keep warm.”
At current prices, a voucher worth 1,000 litres of heating oil (the predominant source of heating for off gas-grid homes in Wales) would cost £890.90.
Certas Energy estimates that the average household in the UK uses around 27,000 kWh of energy per year, which equates to around 1,800 litres of heating oil. 1,000 litres would therefore be enough to support most families using heating oil through the winter, and should be replicated next year if prices have not fallen.
74% of properties in Ceredigion are not connected to the mains gas grid, followed by Powys at 55%, Ynys Môn at 53%, and Gwynedd at 49%.
Overall in Wales, 19% of households are not connected to the gas grid.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
Ben Lake again coming up with simple effective ideas. Evidently he does not inhale the same toxics that seem to stop other politicians from thinking things through.
Ben Lake that is a wonderful idea, it would be handy in the extreme…
Ben, if you have any thoughts on improving the lot of unpayed family carers, thousands who likely have not had a break for the last three years. These people give their lives for love, loyalty, and duty, saving the ‘state’ millions of pounds a year. They deserve recognition!
That is seconded in this corner.
Electricity also heats.
Onsite microgeneration like heat exchange pumps, solar and wind also exists. Grants for these to free us from the need to be on gas would also be worth considring
Why was my suggestion for onsite renewable energy microgeneration removed? What rule could it POSSIBLY have broken?
I can read it and agree, every chimney should be replaced with a wind turbine, every cruising yacht has had one on it’s stern for donkey’s years so why no crossover…we’re addicted to 240 volts or so it seems to me…
Oh yes. It was on premod for some reason, then disappeared to me. Still back now!
Indeed. It does seem to be the most cost effective reliable option so far as I can see. For example, whilst solar panels can take around £10k to install, they more than pay back the installation costs within about a decade.
As you say, people just don’t like change, even positive change. If “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” were a valid approach we would still be without the wheel.
I’m with you on that proposal though with a few ifs and buts. What would be most sensibile first would be a serious roll out of Retro-Fit Inspectors. This is a new breed of animal of which not a huge number have yet been qualified but CAT and others are training them as fast as they can. The idea is that the RFA does a serious examination of the property and then prepares a report recommending the most advantageous steps for the householder to take, along with estimated costings. The NEST scheme run by the Welsh Government does this but… Read more »
Seems a well thought out approach and I appreciate the info. Every day is a learning day.
An admirable idea from Plaid Cymru MP Ben Lake regarding a voucher scheme to aid those, especially in rural communities, not connected to the gas grid with heating oil. But seeing the Tories share one braincell at the moment it’s unlikely they’d take up such a sensible suggestion to aid those suffering fuel poverty.
Of course, he is right. Although my property is connected to gas there are many many surrounding properties unable to have access and rely on coal and wood for heat. I have a back-up multi-fuel stove and always keep a small amount of coal which has recently increased from £8 for a 25kg bag to over £13. Other suppliers are charging over £20. This is puzzling because it is only the cost of gas and electricity that has gone up…. not coal!! But, I suppose, coal merchants have seen the opportunity and jumped on the greedy band wagon.