The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

Are changes to prepayment meter customers enough to end rural fuel poverty?

The Government has announced that it is scrapping the prepayment meter premium, helping around three million households bring their bills in line with those who pay by direct debit.

Removing the prepayment meter premium means these households will save around £21 a year on their bills. The aim is to ensure the system is fair, especially for those who are typically on low incomes.

Alongside this, Ofgem’s latest price cap has also taken effect this week, which will bring the typical annual energy bill down from £2,500 to around £2,074.

However, the RSN remains concerned that rural communities are still being unfairly discriminated against. 

RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth, says the new measures don’t go far enough:

“Many rural homes aren’t on the mains gas network and rely on oil for heating.  These bills continue to soar and there is no energy price cap to protect oil consumers from unaffordable costs.”

“Households living in rural areas have the highest fuel poverty rate of 15.9 per cent in 2022 and the largest fuel poverty gap at £956. Whilst we welcome all steps to reduce the cost for households, £21 is nowhere near the £956 some rural households would need to find to get out of fuel poverty.”

Last year, the National Energy Action estimated that 7.5 million UK households were in fuel poverty and unable to afford to heat their homes to the temperature needed to keep warm and healthy.  The charity says this has been a significant increase since October 2021, when it estimated there were 4.5 million UK households in fuel poverty.


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