Douglas Carswell this week welcomed the news that Tendring Council will encourage vulnerable residents to make use of energy firms' free services.
Tendring Council's Rural Infrastructure Working Party has recently promoted energy suppliers' scheme which seek to offer free help and assistance, such as priority reconnection if supply is interrupted, and free quarterly meter readings. British Gas, for instance, has a free yearly gas safety check.
In addition to these free services, many households also struggle with heating a home. Heating costs can be especially burdensome for the elderly, with the most recent government figures showing that households with an occupant over 60 have a fuel poverty gap of £450 on average. Such schemes, however, do not specifically address heating costs.
Douglas said of the council's announcement:
"It's right that the council encourages constituents to make use of these services. Constituents come and see me who struggle to make medical appointments or see family because the big energy firms make it hard enough.
"Whilst this won't directly address energy costs, I think it also helps to highlight that energy firms are still getting away charging the most vulnerable high amounts.
"Those who are older or struggle to get around will have higher heating costs for their home. I think the energy firms should recognise that and provide some additional help."