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Posted by Bob Burton
A new report compiled by Lincolnshire County Council has found that a high proportion of the area's residents are now in fuel poverty.
This is defined as being when a household is spending more than ten per cent of its income on expenses like heating oil or other fuels and, according to the report, more than a quarter of homes there now fall into this category.
The figure quoted is an increase of almost a third in the past year. The rise is partly blamed on many residents not having enough money to carry out measures to make their properties more energy efficient, such as fitting insulation and installing double glazing.
Green features such as this can prevent heat escaping and mean homeowners do not have to spend so much on keeping warm.
County councillor Colin Davie said some people are struggling and warned that a rise in winter deaths could be the result if something is not done.
Indeed, a report compiled on behalf of the government by Professor John Hills recently stated that as many as 2,700 deaths a year nationwide could be linked to people not being able to afford their energy bills.
Furthermore, there may be as many as 8.5 million people in fuel poverty by 2016.
Just a fortnight ago, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced new measures designed to help the poorest households heat their homes, including an Energy Company Obligation and funding to provide for free loft and cavity wall insulation.
However, looking again at the Lincolnshire County Council report suggests many people may not be aware of the ways in which they can already get help with the cost of expenses such as heating oil.
For example, £100 million of fuel benefits have already gone unclaimed in Lincolnshire, meaning residents may be rationing their heating unnecessarily.
Linda Burden from the Lincolnshire Credit Union told the BBC she has also seen people taking out loans to buy heating oil, with many unable to afford a minimum purchase of 500 litres.
Anyone keen to save money on these bills might want to get a quote from BoilerJuice instead, where customers can benefit from heating oil group buying.
When you place a heating oil order, we automatically attempt to group qualifying order with others in your postcode to create a group discount.
On buying weekends, there are even better chances of qualifying for such savings when we attempt to group standard orders on Friday, Saturday and Sunday - why not see if you can cut your living costs today?
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