The National Rural Conference 2024

The Rural Services Network (RSN) is thrilled to announce the National Rural Conference 2024, taking place from 16th to 19th September. This virtual event, accessible via Zoom, is the premier gathering for senior officers, members, policymakers, and rural service professionals.
Further information and booking details can be found here

New report show rural homes are facing another cold winter

A new survey by Which? has revealed that an estimated 13 million households didn’t turn on their heating when it was cold last winter.

The research also found that some consumers – such as lower-income households and those aged 45-64 years old – were more likely than others to not turn the heating on when it is cold. 

Emily Seymour, Which? Energy Editor, said: 

“It’s hugely concerning that an estimated 13 million households have not switched the heating on when it’s cold due to fears of high energy bills. 

“Our research shows that certain groups – such as lower-income households and families with children – are more likely to be left in the cold this winter. 

“The Government and energy firms need to act now to help those most in need make ends meet over the winter. The Government must introduce a properly targeted social tariff as soon as possible, and energy firms must ensure that their customer services are equipped to properly support customers over the winter.”

The findings reflect RSN’s own Cost of Living survey earlier this year which found that 90% of respondents were trying to reduce spending on home heating.

RSN Chief Executive, Kerry Booth, said the Which? Survey findings come as no surprise:

“As winter approaches, many people in rural areas are facing another cold one, despite Ofgem lower its price cap last week.

“People living in rural households who responded to our survey earlier this year told us they were wearing more clothing, sitting underneath blankets or duvets, running their heating for shorter periods, living in fewer rooms and turning down the thermostat to try and save money. Some also described how the constant cold was affecting their physical health or mental wellbeing.

“Year on year, for many, the picture remains the same and a cold winter means more ill-health, putting a further strain on health services.  Something has to change”

Read more about the Which? Survey here and the results of the RSN Cost of Living survey here.


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