Simply connecting more people to the gas grid could lift thousands out of fuel poverty and save them £900 annually.
The Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) says 140,000 families a year could be lifted out of fuel poverty simply by targeting support to connect fuel poor homes to the gas grid.
In their latest report, “Fuel Poverty – A Connected Solution” they claim a simple readjustment of policy could be used to help connect more people to the grid.
Their plan is to direct Energy Company Obligation (ECO) money levied on the energy suppliers, to install first-time central heating systems into fuel poor homes that currently have no gas supply.
The Gas Distribution Networks (GDNs) could then connect supply, from the grid. Currently the rules don’t allow the connection unless a heating system is to be installed.
EUA boss Mike Foster, a former Labour minister said: “The gas networks want to do more but current regulations stop them. Simple changes, better targeted support and the determination of Government to help, could change the lives of hundreds of thousands of families who today juggle between heating and eating.
“Simply helping them to switch from electric heating to gas central heating, will lift them out of fuel poverty by cutting bills by over £900 a year.”
According to figures from the Energy Savings Trust (EST), gas costs 5p per KWh compared to electric 13p per KWh.