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Encouraging energy efficiency is 'crucial'

In order to reduce the impact of rising fuel bills in the UK, people should be encouraged to be more energy efficient.

This is according to environment minister Phil Woolas, who has emphasised the fact that fuel poverty "is not just a winter issue".

Consumers, as well as the energy industry, should be working to improve energy efficiency of homes. Energy minister Malcom Wicks explained that energy companies have now committed to provide an extra £225 million in social assistance, as a means of helping the elderly, disabled and young families.

"Encouraging energy efficiency is crucial because it really does cut costs - especially for those who can least afford energy price hikes," said Mr Woolas.

This comes as the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced measures that will enable people to reduce their energy outgoings, such as a £3 million investment in the low carbon buildings programme.

Friends of the Earth this week emphasised the need to reduce oil dependency and encourage renewable energy as a means of cutting carbon emissions.

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