Salford families still choosing to ‘heat or eat’

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A cap on energy prices pledged by Prime Minister Theresa May will leave some Salford families still choosing between heating and eating, say city advisers.

The cap will last until 2020 and then be reviewed by regulator Ofgem, which will adivse the government on whether the cap should be extended annually to 2023.

But the most vulnerable families in Salford could still struggle to pay for their energy, particularly during the current cold weather which has already caused problems in the city.

And it will leave many trapped on higher-cost tariffs.

Salford Council’s officer for affordable warmth, Les Laws, said that whilst the cap will help, people will still be “choosing between heating and eating” and that the cap “falls short” of what is needed.

He said: “Families could save more money by switching; on average around £250.

“There needs to be more out there to help vulnerable households to switch tariffs.”

A government press release stated that the proposed bill will put in place a requirement on the independent regulator, Ofgem, to cap energy tariffs until 2020.

But Mr Laws said: “It will mean an absolute cap can be set on poor value tariffs, protecting the 11 million households in England, Wales and Scotland who are currently on a standard variable or other default energy tariff and who are not protected by existing price caps.”

Vulnerable families can get advice from local organisations such as Salford Foundation which can help  households switch their tariffs to save money.

Anyone struggling to pay heating bills can call for advice on: 0161 787 8500

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