Fuel Poverty Committee wants policy reform

The Committee on Fuel Poverty says government policies and allocation of resources need to be changed to achieve fuel poverty goals. It released its first report of recommendations today at […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The Committee on Fuel Poverty says government policies and allocation of resources need to be changed to achieve fuel poverty goals.

It released its first report of recommendations today at the annual National Energy Action conference. The proposals outline a series of urgent actions to be taken by the government if the UK is to hit its 2020, 2025 and 2030 fuel poverty targets.

More than 10% of the country – or 2.38 million homes – aren’t being adequately heated. These households have low incomes and often suffer from highly energy inefficient housing, resulting in health effects and fuel debt.

Some of the recommendations include using data sharing to identify and help vulnerable people more effectively, refocusing energy company schemes on the fuel poor, opportunities for additional funding, greater involvement by local authorities and public health groups and access to good advice.

The committee is calling for more funding to improve the energy efficiency of homes. It estimates it will cost £1.9 billion to achieve the 2020 milestone, a further £5.6 billion to meet the 2025 milestone and another £12.3 billion to meet the 2030 target.

The report adds the average household in fuel poverty would need to spend an additional £371 per year to heat and power their home to a reasonable standard.

Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive of National Energy Action, said: “We are working with the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and other government departments to help steer policy changes needed to maximise resources cost effectively to increase the energy efficiency standards of households in fuel poverty. This will reduce the cost of energy bills and prevent the health and other impacts of living in cold homes.”