There have been calls made to the Welsh government to provide additional support for off-grid houses in Carmarthenshire to help with heating bills.

Speaking during First Minister’s Questions, Senedd member for Mid and West Wales Cefin Campbell highlighted the county’s off-grid statistics.

Across Carmarthenshire, 39 per cent of households are not connected to the mains gas grid, compared to the Wales average of 19 per cent, and 2 per cent in Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taf. 

Mr Campbell highlighted that unlike electricity and gas, heating oil was not subject to a price cap – with households vulnerable to fluctuating prices.

In particular, Mr Campbell cited the experience of one constituent from that had seen the price for a 1,000 litres of heating oil skyrocket from £269 in October 2020 to £939 at the end of September 2022. 


Speaking after the First Minister’s Questions, Cefin Campbell said: “It’s common knowledge that homes across Carmarthenshire are disproportionately reliant on off-grid fuel sources such as oil and biomass than other parts of Wales.  

“With heating oil prices skyrocketing as the cost-of-living crisis intensifies, current support made available falls disproportionately short of meeting the unique circumstances of many Mid and West Wales households. 

“As winter approaches, many families across my region are already facing the unenviable choice between heating and eating, and therefore it’s vital that the Welsh government looks to step-in where the careless Conservatives in Westminster have failed, and better support our off-grid rural communities.” 

Responding to Cefin Campbell MS’ question, First Minister, Mark Drakeford said: “We are doing many things already.

“We have extended the discretionary assistance fund to give more help to people who depend on that as a way to buy their fuel or energy, in the way that Cefin Campbell set out.

“We have a new scheme and that was opened at the end of September, with £4million to the Fuel Bank Foundation. That’s going to provide support to people who depend on prepayment meters, but also will provide support to those buying oil in the way the Member described.

“And also, of course, we have provided funding to local authorities, on top of the funding that they’ve had to distribute to every household who pay council tax, funding that they can use in the appropriate way for their areas.”