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Fears that disabled York residents 'are in fuel poverty'

Rising gas and electricity prices could mean some disabled consumers in York are unable to pay for energy and keep warm this winter.

This is according to sociologists at the University of York, who are conducting a one-year study funded by grant-giving organisation the eaga Charitable Trust.

Fuel poverty is where a family is finding it difficult to pay for energy and as a result, individuals are spending more than ten per cent of their income on heating systems.

Dr Carolyn Snell, principal investigator of the project, said there is currently limited and fragmented evidence on the relationship between disability and fuel poverty.

She added: "This is worrying as policy is changing rapidly, disabled people tend to have higher energy needs and are more likely to be in poverty already."

As part of the research, representatives from the university will interview households where one resident has a disability, in order to determine how energy bills and budgets are balanced.

Mark Bevan from York's Centre for Housing Policy stated welfare reforms could see vulnerable consumers receive free grants for loft insulation or a new boiler.

Posted by Simon Webster