The Government of Jersey’s Minister for Social Security, Deputy Judy Martin, has announced that following the recent increase in the price of gas in Jersey, support is being made available for vulnerable customers and those on low incomes.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Jersey Gas prices rose by a total of 13.2% in October 2021 (a 2% price decrease from the previous level was applied from mid-October, but an additional, market-linked increase of 15.2% was brought in at the same time and will be reviewed and may be reduced after 6 months if market conditions allow).
The increase means an extra £10 – £15 per month for an average customer.
In providing this support the energy business has worked closely with the Government of Jersey and several local charities to ensure that support can be accessed by those that need it.
Jo Cox, CEO of the Islands Energy Group, said: “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.
Mrs Cox continued, “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.”