The Welsh Government has set out new plans to improve the energy efficiency of homes and help reduce fuel poverty further by 2035.
It has launched a consultation – open until 31st December 2020 – on its proposals, which includes 10 immediate actions that are expected to have the biggest impact between now and 2023.
One of the key proposals will see continuous investment to deliver home energy efficiency improvements through the Warm Homes Programme, through which £336 million of investment has been delivered since 2011.
It has helped improve the energy efficiency of more than 61,400 homes and provided advice and support to more than 144,800 people and contributes to the wider goal of housing decarbonisation to fulfil its net zero obligations by 2050.
The government’s proposals also include domestic energy advice and support services to help people save money and reduce energy use, a plan to improve winter resilience for people struggling to meet the cost of their domestic fuel needs and to publish Welsh domestic energy data annually to help focus on communities at greatest risk of living in fuel poverty.
Its statistics suggest estimated levels of fuel poverty have more than halved since 2008, with around 177,000 households out of fuel poverty.
Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths said: “Whilst the estimated level of people in fuel poverty has halved since 2008, we cannot ignore the fact 155,000 homes continue to struggle to afford a safe and comfortable home environment.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic means our homes have assumed a more prominent role in our daily lives, increasing the energy we use. This is set to continue, with the prospect of higher bills as we enter autumn and winter. However, the Welsh Government cannot tackle this challenge on its own. The UK Government holds many of the key powers to effect change and we will continue to use our influence to shape their actions and policies.
“Our new plan will make a key contribution to our efforts to tackle poverty in all its forms, especially for children, young people, older people and disabled people. Continuing to invest in our support to people living on lower incomes to improve the energy efficiency of their homes will help with our efforts to decarbonise Welsh housing as part of our efforts to respond to the challenges resulting from climate change.”