Thanks to the campaigning of residents of the CIAC building in Middlesbrough and Housing Action Teesside, and to the advocacy of Andy McDonald MP, the Government has finally promised justice for the tenants and leaseholders support under the Government’s energy bill voucher scheme.
Like others across Middlesbrough and the country, CIAC building residents are struggling with the cost of living and especially with sky-high energy bills. However while the Government has announced measures including the “Energy Support Scheme” £400 rebate off energy bills, CIAC building tenants were told they are not receiving this support. This is supposedly because they are on a collective commercial energy contract held by the building management company CRM Limited, which is then sub-metered to the actual residents of the building. As their contract is commercial they are treated as a “business” and not eligible for any household support.
Residents of the CIAC building signed a petition, coordinated by Housing Action Teesside, which was shared with local MP Andy McDonald. The petition demanded that residents in the CIAC building, and others in a similar position across the country, receive the £400 energy bill voucher as soon as possible.
Andy McDonald raised this issue in Parliament’s Business Select Committee, and the Chair of the Committee then raised it with the Government. Finally on 5 December we have received a reply from the Minister for Energy Graham Stuart, recognising the problem and agreeing to put a new “Alternative” scheme in place. Under this, from January 2023 residents will be able to apply on the Government website for the £400 energy bill rebate.
We will be tracking this scheme closely to make sure it works for our members and other CIAC residents.
But this win goes to show; pressure from below works!