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11 Sep 2008 05:09:36

Free insulation for pensioners part of energy plan



Free insulation for pensioners part of energy plan
Pensioners and poor households are to get free insulation and an energy bill price freeze as part of prime minister Gordon Brown's strategy to combat rising fuel prices.

Faced with rising energy costs and inflation, a growing number of consumers are set to struggle to pay for electricity and gas and the government has agreed a £910 million package to help mitigate the effects of price rises.

All homes across the country will be offered half price insulation as the government aims for all homes to be insulated by 2020.

Mr Brown said that the strategy, which will be paid for by the energy companies, is a better alternative to a one-off payment for fuel bills.

In his monthly press conference the prime minister said: "This is the right approach, giving priority to permanent - not just one-off - changes, with the offer of lasting benefits and fairness for all families, cutting bills permanently every year."

The move to insulate all homes could satisfy the calls from former scientific advisor Sir David King who, writing in the Daily Telegraph before the press briefing, said such a measure could substantially cut energy use and carbon emissions.

The strategy will also see cold weather payments for pensioners, disabled people and unemployed families with children under five rise from £8.50 to £25 a week if temperatures drop below zero for a week.
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