Energy cost is major concern

The political fallout from the Scottish Referendum and by-elections has generated a great deal of heat, but not enough to keep us all warm as the nights draw in.

In my recent and rolling surveys, the high cost of fuel and energy is a major concern.

Fuel bills are on average £300 higher since 2010 and there seems wide support for a freeze on bills and the reform of the energy market.

The price of gas and electricity is, however, just one, rather crude way of ensuring households use less energy.

It’s also important to improve energy efficiency, improve people’s homes and reduce carbon emissions.

So my recent meeting with North Tyneside Warm Zone was an excellent opportunity to review the progress which has been made and the challenges which remain.

Warm Zone is a Community Interest Company – a not for profit company – which has worked in our area since 2001, developing pioneering partnerships with local authorities and the wider community.

It is a major success story for our region with not just savings on bills but also creating and supporting hundreds of jobs. And on top of all that Warm Zone’s regional headquarters is in North Shields.

Warm Zone can offer up to 100 per cent grant funding for new boilers, cavity wall and loft insulation and offers free advice on energy efficiency and accessing benefits. Visit