Families are facing higher fuel bills in East Lindsey

More than a third of families in East Lindsey are facing the prospect of higher fuel bills- because they aren’t connected to the gas mains.

More than 3.5 million households in Great Britain remain cut off from the gas network.

Despite a pledge by the UK energy regulator to get more homes connected to the grid, Government data reveals 23,350 households in East Lindsey do not have access to gas.

That’s 37% of all homes, one of the highest rates in the East Midlands.

The energy regulator Ofgem says access to gas can make a big difference to living standards for people in fuel poverty, as gas is a cheaper method of cooking or heating a home than other fuels.

A spokesman for the charity National Energy Action said: “Off-grid gas properties can have significantly higher energy costs than those with connections due to a reliance on expensive alternatives such as oil, LPG or electricity in order to heat homes.

“This high cost means households can struggle to adequately heat their properties, which can lead to poor health, wellbeing and even mortality.”

Around 13% of households in East Lindsey are in fuel poverty, according to the latest figures.

In England, a household is defined as being in fuel poverty when it has higher than average energy costs and would be left with an income below the poverty line after these energy costs are deducted.

Households without access to gas are more likely to be in fuel poverty.

Under an Ofgem scheme, gas distribution companies are required to connect more vulnerable and fuel poor households to the grid. The companies cover the cost of the initial installation, which is then recovered from the household over time.

Each gas distribution company has a target for the number of fuel poor households it needs to connect by 2021.

However, more than 3.5 million households in Great Britain remain cut off from the gas network. That’s 13% of homes and this has fallen very little since 2015.

A spokesman for Ofgem said that nationally, more than 105,000 homes had been hooked up since 2008 through its gas network extension scheme.