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Tackling the rising cost of fuel

The cost of heating and lighting our homes is rising. The regulator, Ofgem, says the average dual fuel bill for gas and electricity is almost fourteen hundred pounds a year.

According to one campaign group, cold homes are responsible for thousands of winter deaths.

Now it is calling on the Government to spend more on making our homes more energy efficient.

Derek Proud reports for our political programme Around The House:


What is the middle class?

The economy and living standards came under the spotlight in January's edition of Around The House.

MPs debated the Labour leader Ed Miliband's promise this week to 'rebuild our middle class'.

They also considered the effect of the Chancellor's warning that billions of pounds of extra spending cuts will be needed after the next general election.

Watch the full debate between the Labour MP for Durham North, Kevan Jones, the Liberal Democrat member for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron and the Conservative MP for Skipton and Ripon, Julian Smith:

Around The House: 11:35pm tonight

Topical discussion with the region's MPs Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The impact of rising energy bills comes under the spotlight on tonight's edition of Around The House. North East MPs Guy Opperman and Ian Lavery discuss the possible solutions.

We will stay on a wintry theme, asking how we can protect ourselves and our property from flooding, storms and rising tides. MPs Kevan Jones, Julian Smith and Tim Farron offer their perspectives.

How to make your home more energy efficient

The energy regulator, Ofgem, says the average dual fuel bill for gas and electricity is almost £1400 a year.

A campaign group is calling on the Government to spend far more money on making our homes more energy efficient.

Derek Proud has been speaking to Dawn Keightley from Durham based Four Housing Group and Jenny Holland from the campaign group Energy Bill Revolution.


Hundreds object to Northumberland wind farm

A company called 'Energiekontor' wants to erect five 126 meter wind turbines on land next to the village of Fenrother, Northumberland.

The county council received 900 objections, more than any other planning application, and rejected the plans. Energiekontor are appealing this decision, and a public enquiry is underway at Morpeth Town Hall.

North East centre to test deep sea technology

An "extreme" engineering centre will be built in Newcastle to help develop subsea technology.

The £7 million Neptune National Centre will be created on the River Tyne in the city.

The centre was unveiled by the Business Secretary Vince Cable as part of a new oil and gas strategy.

The centre will be built on the north bank of the river on Neptune Energy Park, part of Shepherd Offshore.

It is billed by Newcastle University, which is providing funds for the scheme, as a centrepiece for economic revival.

The project, also supported by Newcastle City Council, includes plans for a hyperbaric chamber capable of testing technology and materials at temperatures and pressures equivalent to those found at the deepest ocean depths.

"The UK's oil and gas sector is crucial to the economy, so we've worked closely with the sector on today's industrial strategy. But its future success relies on it being underpinned by the latest science and technology.

"This cutting-edge new facility will help put our academic community and industry at the centre of subsea and offshore engineering research. It will drive up skills and develop the innovations needed to fuel growth in the North Sea."

– Vince Cable, Business Secretary

"The Neptune Centre will create a unique facility that will significantly enhance research capacity, not just at Newcastle University but in the UK as a whole, providing a focus for the development of both new technology and academic-industry relationships that underpin future growth."

– Professor Nick Wright, Project lead
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