PM’s fuel poverty attempts ‘doomed to fail’

More than a hundred UK businesses, energy companies, charities and unions have joined forces to warn David Cameron his attempts to tackle fuel poverty in the country are “doomed to […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

More than a hundred UK businesses, energy companies, charities and unions have joined forces to warn David Cameron his attempts to tackle fuel poverty in the country are “doomed to fail”.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, members of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign are urging him to do more to help fuel poor households and ease the burden of high heating and energy bills. They claim nine million more families could be fuel poor by 2016 if the Government doesn’t do enough to tackle the problem. The organisation warns that energy efficiency schemes such as the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), which come into effect next week, are not enough to help stop the rising number of people in fuel poverty in the UK.

They are urging the Prime Minister to use money raised by the carbon tax – which on average is estimated at £4 billion a year for the next 15 years – to pay for a programme of “super-insulation” in homes across the country. They say this would provide five times more subsidy for installation measures without increasing consumer energy bills by a penny. This is believed to save the average family around £310 every year and bring nine out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty within 10 years.

Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution said: “The suffering caused by high energy bills is turning into a national crisis. Our alliance is united in our belief that the Government can do far more. There is enough carbon revenue to fund an insulation programme which is five times bigger. It could end fuel poverty and ensure all UK homes are super-insulated. Consumers end up paying this tax. It is only right and just that this revenue is used to help them bring down their energy bills.”

Domestic fuel bills are beleived to have risen by an average of 8% this winter, with families expecting annual bills of more than £1,300. Energy company E.ON was the last of the ‘Big Six’ to increase tariffs this winter, with the average dual fuel customer’s energy bill to rise by £110 a year to £1,370.

The campaign claims at least 7,800 people die every year in the UK from living in cold homes and that homes in this country are amongst the worst insulated in Europe.