Steve McCabe MP offers energy advice to constituents over the Christmas period

Christmas is an expensive time of year with many families feeling the pinch more so than ever before which is why Steve McCabe MP is offering advice to his constituents on how to save money over the festive period.

In the last few years, energy bills have risen by over £300, twice as fast as inflation and four times faster than wages, 6 million low income families cannot afford to heat their homes which is why Steve McCabe MP has spoken up in Parliament and in his constituency about getting a fairer deal for consumers. In Parliament, Steve has been pushing for openness about a 26p daily standing charge for gas usage that has been introduced by energy companies and applied to everyone, even those who do not use gas after being contacted by a number of concerned constituents.

In his constituency, Steve carried out a survey with local people to find out their views on current energy policy, the results revealed that 92% of people who took part in the survey felt that it is important that action is taken to tackle energy prices. A large majority, 95% thought that the energy regulator, Ofgem, should be given more power to ensure fairer prices for consumers and businesses and 75% of people supported Labour’s plans to freeze energy bills for 20 months.

With many people concerned about heating their homes this winter, Steve McCabe MP is offering a few tips how to save money on energy this Christmas:

- Check whether you are eligible for help with your energy bills by calling the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99. Support includes insulation and boilers, with many elderly and low income families qualifying for the £135 Warm Home Discount on energy bills.

- Switch energy supplier- if your energy bills are too high consider switching energy suppliers to get a better deal, you can do this by visiting http://www.uswitch.com or by calling 0800 051 5493.

- Pensioners could receive financial help by applying for the Winter Fuel Payment, call 08459 15 15 15 to check your eligibility

- For those who rely on prepayment metres for their energy, around 14,000 neighbourhood shops in the UK will be open on Christmas day for people to top up their gas or electricity and the service is free to use for consumers. You can find out which shops with Paypoints will be open over the Christmas and New Year period by visiting http://www.paypoint.co.uk

Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said:

“Christmas can be a strain on many family budgets and with more cold months ahead of us I know many of my constituents will be worrying about how to pay their heating bills and may not know where to turn for help and advice on keeping their homes warm. It’s important that people know what they are entitled to and I will be continuing to campaign for a better deal for consumers both in Parliament and in my constituency.”

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