Calls have been made in the Senedd for the Welsh Government to provide further support for those off the mains gas network.
Jane Dodds, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales questioned the Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt MS in the Senedd this Wednesday, asking her to introduce at least a one-off payment for those affected.
In the past fortnight, heating oil prices have risen from an already high 66.74 pence per litre to 148.25 pence per litre.
A 2019 estimate shows around 19 per cent of households in Wales are not connected to the gas grid, in Mid & West Wales this is 27 per cent.
Most households off the grid are reliant on more expensive fuels including oil and LPG. Neither of which, benefit from the same consumer protections or regulations as gas and electricity.
Across Mid & West Wales a high percentage of households are off the grid including:
· 82.4% of households in Ceredigion off-grid with 11,407 households on oil
· 67.7% of households in Powys off-grid with 17,335 households on oil
· 63.7% of households in Gwynedd off-grid with 9,172 on oil
· 56.7% of households in Pembrokeshire off-grid with 12,982 on oil
· 49.7% of households in Carmarthenshire off-grid with 20,194 households on oil
Commenting Jane Dodds said:
“While all households are facing major increases in their energy bills in the coming months, those off-the-grid households throughout Wales that rely on heating oil instead of gas or electric heating are seeing astronomical rises, without the protection of the energy price cap.
“Many are already being forced to make the choice between heating and eating and the astronomical cost increases facing those reliant on oil – without protection – is going to cause a huge number of people a lot of pain.
“I’ve got residents across my region who are genuinely very scared about how they are going to fill up their next oil tank many of whom live in uninsulated social housing.
“This is affecting people right across the socio-economic spectrum, this comes on top of Conservative tax rises and cuts to universal credit.
“I am calling on the Welsh Government to issue a one-off payment to those reliant on heating oil and LPG to help them through this difficult time.”