Osborne officially unveils plans for £50 a year saving on energy bills

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The government finally officially unveiled its plans to cut the average homeowners energy bill by £50 a year yesterday (Dec 5) in its Autumn Statement.

George Osborne confirmed the new measures would come at the expense of a number of green levies being lifted from power companies, in particular energy suppliers would have more time under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme - which forces the firms to carry out energy improvement measures to the most hard up of their customers.

Chancellor, George Osborne, said: "This week we deliver on the promise made by the prime minister to roll back those levies. The result: an average of £50 off family bills.

"We're doing this in a way that supports the lowest income families. Reduces carbon. Supports investment in our energy infrastructure. And as the document shows, does not add a penny to the tax bill families pay."

Although a reduction in energy bills following soaring energy costs is welcomed by many, a number of charities have pointed out the move will certainly not be beneficial for all.

In particular, those in fuel poverty - a term used to describe anyone spending more than ten per cent of its income on energy - are said to be most at risk as the shift in policies means firms have more time to roll out the installation of energy efficiency improving measures to such homes under the ECO scheme.

Clare Welton from Fuel Poverty Action slammed the decision, claiming it would leave many of the country's poorest households without the means to improve heating.

She said: "Osborne is axing insulation for tens of thousands of the poorest households, condemning thousands of families to cold and damp homes with unaffordable high bills for decades, whilst allowing the 'Big Six' to continue their profiteering just a week after a huge rise of deaths from fuel poverty have been reported.

"This cut for the fuel poor, and the cap for those who need benefits to survive, comes at the same time that profiteering, polluting and unpopular fracking companies are handed huge tax breaks by the government."

Age UK charity director, Caroline Abrahams, also criticised the shift in policies.

She said: "We firmly believe that the only sustainable solution to the scourge of fuel poverty and escalating energy prices is a major overhaul of our poorly insulated housing, to ensure that cold homes are a thing of the past.

"In 21st Century Britain, older people's lives should not be at the mercy of the weather"

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