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Fuel poverty 'not best addressed by switching suppliers'

Fuel poverty 'not best addressed by switching suppliers'
7th November 2008

Encouraging consumers to switch energy suppliers is not the best way to tackle the problem of fuel poverty, a leading charity has said.

Age Concern released research which appeared to show that there has been no recent increase in the number of energy customers switching suppliers, despite significant price rises.

In addition it found that around seven out of ten households indicated they are unlikely to consider going with an alternative energy company next year.

The charity suggested that the best energy deals can be found online - a factor which in general penalises older age groups who are less likely to have access to the internet.

Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said: "Relying on people to switch suppliers to get the best deal without addressing the unfairness in energy pricing is not going to help those in fuel poverty."

Meanwhile, a new charity which is being formed by the merging of Age Concern UK and Help the Aged has announced the appointment of its chief executive officer.

Tom Wright CBE, who is currently the chief executive of VisitBritain, will move into the role early next year - with key early challenges set to include the branding of the new organisation and the successful combining of the two workforces.

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