Help offer over fuel poverty

By Emily Pearce

Saturday, April 20, 2013

 

A COMMUNITY bank has offered a helping hand to Islanders in fuel poverty.

The Co-op bank, Newport High Street, has launched a free service showing people how to reduce their bills.

Assistant manager Michael Perry said: "We go through people’s bills, have a look at their income and expenditure, and advise them on how to reduce their outgoings. We also make sure they are claiming any benefits they are entitled to.

"If more than ten per cent of their income is spent on fuel bills, they are in fuel poverty. A lot of people are struggling to pay their fuel bills and it’s not just elderly people — a lot of young people and families are finding it tough, too.

"It’s not about trying to sell people bank products. These are low-income customers the bank doesn’t really benefit from. It’s about trying to help people because we are a community bank. It’s something I think is really important."

Many of the people who seek Mr Perry’s help are referred to the Footprint Trust charity, one of the bank’s customers and chosen charities, which helps people get grants to insulate their home and heat it more efficiently.

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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Displaying the last 10 of 16 comments - Show All Comments

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by Kevin Boynton

23rd April 2013, at 17:23:21

Is this a guise, so they can sell their energy I wonder ?

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by James McAdder

23rd April 2013, at 09:42:42

I was replying to Lee Majors' usual rant about IW drivers, Rosie.

However, the cost of vehicle fuel is related to "fuel poverty" on the IW because of the lamentable and over-priced public transport.

Wages on the IW are well below the national average, while transport costs are higher, this means that a much greater proportion of an average Islander's wages has to go towards getting to, and from, work.

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by Tania Haywood

22nd April 2013, at 19:14:46

To Alan Naylor - Michael only goes through customers accounts at their request, in an attempt to help them - obviously he can't go through just anyone's accounts as that would breach the data protection act. He is an experienced adviser and this shows they care a damned site more than the 'big banks' that would probably try to flog you a loan to 'help you out' with PPI attached no doubt. I know people that have been helped by Michael and his colleagues and they are very grateful of the money he has saved them. No-one at the big banks can say they helped like this, if they can't make money by flogging you stuff you don't need they aren't interested. Michael and his branch offer an important SERVICE there, and I think it makes a refreshing change from being treated like a cash cow at barclays and the like. I certainly wouldn't bank anywhere else, so I speak from personal experience of the refreshingly different way they treat their customers. Rant over!!

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by Rosie Saxcoburg

22nd April 2013, at 16:18:39

Just FYI, when the article says 'fuel poverty' they mean fuel to heat your home.. eg electricity, gas, oil, coal etc. not petrol for cars!

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by alan naylor

22nd April 2013, at 14:26:12

I think Michael Perry has got **** cheek for going through custumers accounts and advising them on how to spend their money full stop

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by James McAdder

22nd April 2013, at 08:39:51

While driving at a constant 50-60 mph will, indeed, deliver good fuel economy, it is usually impractical to do so except on dual carriageways and motorways. There are few places on the IW where it is either practical, safe or, indeed, legal to drive at a constant 56mph.

You will achieve far better fuel economy on the IW by reading the good advice here:-http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/fuels-and-environment/drive-smart.html

Most important is reading the road ahead and anticipating what you will need to do. This greatly the number of times you have to brake and accelerate, and reduces how hard you need to brake and accelerate.

Personally, I drive a 1.6 diesel estate and usually get around 53mpg out of it driving around the IW by using these techniques. Before this I was getting about 45mpg, so it does make a big difference.

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by Mike Crowe

21st April 2013, at 20:24:50

Stephen 'Oi were that n'all'

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by Mike Crowe

21st April 2013, at 20:13:57

To some, two is too many.

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by Kevin Barclay-Jay

21st April 2013, at 16:16:04

sickened.....most people in poverty are in employment..most people who need help with fuel bills are in employment....some people are just to easily led and judgmental...or just plain stupid

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by Stephen Elliott

21st April 2013, at 11:40:35

Mike were talking about how to afford paying bills, not the welfare state!

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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