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Sinn Féin call for energy brokering schemes and social tarriffs for those on low incomes

23 February, 2012 - by Jennifer McCann

West Belfast MLA Jennifer McCann has welcomed today's announcement by Phoenix gas to cut their prices to customers in the Greater Belfast Area.

Ms McCann, who sits on the Enterprise Trade & Investment Committee said:

“This 8.5% per cent cut in Phoenix Gas prices in the Greater Belfast area is welcome news to Phoenix Gas customers.It will be especially welcome to those households and small businesses who are finding it difficult to afford energy costs.

“There is an onus on the large energy companies and the Utility Regulator to ensure that the cost of energy is kept at affordable prices.

“There are many households and families that face a daily struggle to keep their homes warm and electricity on.There is a need for a social tariff system to be introduced here that will ensure that elderly and low income families are not without heat or light in their homes due to being unable to afford energy costs.

“There is also leverage for an Energy Brokering scheme to be introduced which would help ensure that energy supplied to social housing tenants would be kept as low as possible.

“Many organisations and groups representing those who are vulnerable to fuel poverty have set out clear and practical proposals as a way forward to tackle this problem. It is clearly time that some of these proposals are taken forward."

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