UK ‘must step up efforts to defeat fuel poverty’

A fuel poverty charity has called on the government to step up its efforts to make affordable energy and efficient housing more accessible. Energy Action Scotland said living in a […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

A fuel poverty charity has called on the government to step up its efforts to make affordable energy and efficient housing more accessible.

Energy Action Scotland said living in a warm, dry home is “a basic necessity and essential to health and wellbeing” and called for a number of policy actions to reflect this.

The group believes too many people across the UK are struggling to reach this standard and instead are falling into fuel poverty, meaning they are cold at home or having to sacrifice other basics such as food to pay for heating.

The charity has called for the government to improve housing standards by stepping up the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), a significant contributor to the delivery of domestic energy efficiency measures.

It also emphasises the importance of encouraging the smart meter rollout, which it believes gives a major opportunity to bring about significant behavioural change in energy usage.

Energy Action Scotland say they expect to see more effective support to vulnerable and low income consumers, in the form of expanding the Warm Home Discount, continuing the Winter Fuel and Cold Weather Payments and providing better information services.

It said a joint ministerial summit on fuel poverty should be held by winter 2017-2018.

The Conservative Party has pledged to cap “rip-off” energy prices if it wins the general election.