Currently off-grid heating fuel is still beyond the remit of the energy price cap – which has rather been based on the assumption that household energy consumption is split 80 per cent gas and 20 per cent electricity – however nearly a fifth of households across Wales currently live in an off-gas area.
The disparity is even more dramatic In rural areas across Mid and West Wales – where the figure is drastically higher than the Welsh average, with UK Government figures for 2020 estimating over 40 per cent of properties in Pembrokeshire are not connected to the gas grid.
Such estimates compare with merely 2 per cent off-gas premises in Welsh urban areas such as Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff.
With the cost of living crisis continuing, coupled with the growing uncertainty from the Ukrainian conflict, wholesale oil prices have surged as high as $139 a barrel - the highest level for almost 14 years.
Recent figures by the Office for National Statistics showed that Wales has faced highest energy bills in the whole of the UK, with four Welsh local authorities (Ceredigion, Gwynedd, Carmarthenshire, and Powys) in the top ten counties for highest energy bills – with Pembrokeshire, a centre for the import of energy to the UK, not far behind.
Cefin Campbell MS said: “I’ve been recently contacted by constituents noting that recent months have seen costs of heating oil treble – whilst other have been informed this week that delivery to their area is currently unavailable.
“We’re already aware that in Pembrokeshire, according to the most recent Welsh Government statistics 15 per cent of households already live in fuel poverty, and this unregulated hike in oil prices is merely throwing more families into greater hardship – facing the unenviable choice of heating or eating.
“It’s vital the UK Government acts urgently to regulate the rocketing cost of oil, and ensure households in Pembrokeshire, and across Mid and West Wales are not held to ransom by such ballooning costs.”