Herts households to struggle to keep warm in fuel crisis

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Thousands of homes will struggle to keep warm in the winter months because of fuel poverty across Hertfordshire.

Almost 40,000 households in the county are living in fuel poverty, with eight per cent of homes classed as ‘fuel poor.’

This means tenants cannot afford to adequately heat their home based on income.

Rural parts of the county are expected to be hit hardest, as they heating bills are almost double that of urban areas.

A spokesman from OFTEC, representing the oil heating industry, said: “We often take our heating for granted and turn up the thermostat when the weather is cold without a second’s thought.

“Unfortunately, as this latest report reveals, for many households across Hertfordshire keeping warm is a constant source of concern and often anxiety.”

The cost in heating in rural areas is high as the homes are typically being older, poorly insulated and less energy efficient.

The spokesman added: “The current focus needs to be on cost effective solutions such as better insulation and helping them upgrade to a modern and more effective heating system, for instance moving from electric storage heaters to oil central heating which is over 40 per cent cheaper to run.

“We should however recognise that, even with government support, the cost of upgrading a boiler is still out of reach for many homes.”

They suggest that adjusting heating timers, bleeding radiators and having heating systems regularly checked will help reduce bills.