The Conservative minister responsible for energy bill support has announced that off-grid households will not receive any help with their spiralling bills until at least 2023, despite MPs from all parties calling for urgent action throughout 2022.
The Government is also yet to establish the full details of how hard-hit residents will be able to access the help they need due to taking months to develop what Helen Morgan has described as an “over-complicated and under-generous” scheme.
The Lib Dem MP has been campaigning for a price cap on heating oil and LPG to ease the pressure on the many families in North Shropshire living off the gas grid.
Graham Stuart, the Minister for Energy and Climate, revealed the delay to off-grid support in a letter to MPs this week.
Helen has now written to the minister calling on him to provide urgent clarity on how and when the scheme will be available so that families are able to plan their spending for the winter months.
Around 22,000 homes in Shropshire rely on heating oil due to being off the gas grid and 900,000 homes across the country are entirely off-grid such as residents of park homes and care homes.
Helen Morgan said: “Families in off-grid homes needed support with their energy bills months ago but the Conservatives are making them wait until at least January and even then they won’t get the full help they deserve.
“I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve told the Government to speed up support for off-grid households and park homes.
“It should not be surprising that this Conservative Government has once again let people in North Shropshire down but I am genuinely baffled that after nearly a year of planning this is the best they have come up with.
“My Liberal Democrat colleagues and I have repeatedly called for a simple price cap on heating oil and LPG but instead the Government is pursuing a system which is over-complicated and under-generous.
“As usual it is ordinary people in rural areas who are forced to pay the price of Conservative failures.”