Council tenants saved from energy cost hike
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
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Tenants who pay Southampton City Council for their heating will only have to pay 2.5% rather than the 10% needed to cover the cost of energy inflation.
A large number of residents who get their heating from the council have had increased heating charges over the last two years.
The council has said that many may be suffering from fuel poverty, particularly in the most deprived areas of the city.
The council's cabinet has decided to increase heating charges by only 2.5%, which is in line with the expected general price inflation but is significantly lower than the anticipated energy inflation.
To help balance the heating account books, the cabinet agreed a one off payment of £391,000 which will be made from the "relatively healthy" housing revenue account.
Councillor Warwick Payne, cabinet member for housing and sustainability, said: “It’s a priority for the council to reduce fuel poverty in Southampton and that’s difficult in the face of benefit changes and the economic slowdown.
“However, we aim to meet that challenge with green energy works to council houses and to provide insulation to shield residents from soaring bills in the future.
“Until these greening works take effect, we are using one-off surplus cash in the housing budget to limit this year’s landlord heating charge rise to 2.5%, helping thousands of residents across the city.
“The idea has been backed by the Tenant Resource Group, which includes residents on the landlord system and also those with individual boilers who pay a separate charge, and I’d like to thank them for their support.”