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'Range Of Measures' To Help Struggling Gas Customers

An unnamed Jersey charity has received 'a significant donation' from Jersey Gas to assess need and provide financial help 'where necessary' to struggling gas customers.

Gas prices went up by 13.2% in Jersey last month.

The Islands Energy Group, which owns Jersey Gas, said it was because of the surge in wholesale gas costs across the world, which has led to many energy providers going bust.

It means an average £10 to £15 per month increase for an average customer.

Social Security Minister Deputy Judy Martin said last month that her officers were looking at giving 'an appropriate extra payment to any households who depend on gas to keep their homes warm.'

158 homes in social housing use gas.

People who want assistance are being told to contact Jersey Gas in the first instance on 755577 and sign up for the 'Priority Customer Care Service' to discuss payment plans, home checks, and further support.

"The decision to raise the cost of gas is not one we relish or took lightly. The cost of wholesale gas has quadrupled as energy markets have reacted to a variety of complex influences including a significant number of events across the world, such as Brexit, Covid, storms across America, and unpredictable weather globally. It is a wide range of factors that have combined to affect supply chains in a variety of ways, increasing the cost of many things that are crucial to the supply of gas. 

"We understand that news of price increases for customers will cause concern and we would like to remind our customers that they can sign up for our Priority Customer Care service if they would like to discuss any additional support that we are able to give them. We would encourage any customers who are concerned about paying their bills to contact us on 755577 at the earliest opportunity. Jersey Gas can offer customers affordability payment plans, ‘Comfort Checks’ for customers at home and further support if needed. 

"We have made a significant donation to a local charity who will assess need and provide financial help where necessary, and we will work with Citizens Advice Jersey to ensure that vulnerable customers get the help that they require. We advise customers to contact us in the first instance, and we can direct them to the most appropriate source of assistance." - Jo Cox, CEO of the Islands Energy Group.

For customers who need extra financial help, the charity with a debt advice service will make the final decision as to what help to provide.

"When I spoke to the States Assembly in October, I promised to return with more information on how people on low incomes could get extra financial support for their gas heating over the winter.

"Following a productive meeting with the CEO of the Islands Energy Group, Jo Cox, a range of measures have been put in place by Jersey Gas to support their vulnerable customers. Our officers will continue to work closely with Jersey Gas and Citizen’s Advice Jersey to support these measures over the coming months giving peace of mind to Islanders worried about heating their homes with gas this winter." - Deputy Judy Martin, Social Security Minister.

Senator Sam Mezec and the Jersey Consumer Council have previously called on the government to act.

The States of Guernsey announced earlier this month that it will help those on low incomes to pay their power bills by providing a 12.5% discount.

Prices went up there by 16.9%.

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