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.