British charity Family Action has called on energy companies to help vulnerable families from falling into debt by passing on more of their profits.
Chief executive of the trust Helen Dent noted that the organisation is continuously hearing from low-income families regarding the “stark choices” they have regarding household spending and their worries about getting into debt.
She called it “scandalous” that the poorest groups are already disadvantaged and paying premiums for fuel and other services, as “their lack of a bank account means they cannot use direct debit and more favourable payment methods”.
Ms Dent further observed that this injustice demands action from the government, as well as those in the industry.
Her comments came after the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group published its annual report, revealing that more than four million households in England were in fuel poverty in September 2008, compared to 1.2 million in 2004.
And between January 2003 and September 2008, gas and electricity bills increased from £572 to £1,287.
By Sarah Adie