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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