The fuel poor are “rationing” energy to pay for the green levies on bills, the Chair of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Advisory Group has told ELN.
Derek Lickorish said: “It is completely inequitable that costs which should be met by the treasury are being loaded on to bills.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the Energy UK conference yesterday, he said “people are rationing their use of energy” in order to pay the “regressive” and “intergenerational” levies, which fund schemes such as the Green Deal and ECO.
Mr Lickorish highlighted a recent ONS report that found consumers had reduced their energy use by a quarter over a six period, adding: “In areas of known fuel poverty consumption had fallen by 30%.”
He said rather than demonstrating the effectiveness of energy savings measures, as some had suggested, the report showed people were rationing their energy use because they couldn’t afford the bills otherwise.
The older generation in particular is being given a rough deal according to Mr Lickorish. Talking about the funding available for green home improvements he asked: “Why should my elderly father who’s nearly 95 be paying for something for me, which I will reap the benefits of in ten years’ time?”
Quizzed on whether he would scrap such schemes entirely, he added: “We have to think very carefully about the bigger picture of decarbonisation and whether we can afford it.”