Government betrays Britain’s fuel poor
- Political spin a ‘cover up’ for 80% decrease in help to make cold homes more energy efficient
- 4 million poor families left out in the cold with no support in next decade
- Energy Bill Revolution demands that the next Government makes home energy efficiency the UK’s priority infrastructure spending priority
February 3, 2015 (London): Inefficient and unambitious Government programmes have resulted in a dramatic 80% decrease in help available for those with freezing homes.
Fuel poor households will be some of the worst hit, with the number of major energy efficiency delivered dropping from 112,000 in the winter of 2011/12 to a mere 22,000 this winter, a new report has revealed. The big drop occurred after the introduction of two new energy efficiency programmes, the Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation.
The research by the Association for the Conservation of Energy, commissioned by The Energy Bill Revolution, the world’s largest anti-fuel poverty campaign group found that, at current rates, less that 30% of 6 million poorly insulated low income homes will receive energy efficiency support in the next decade.
The news comes as Cold Homes Week, set up to highlight the woefully insulated homes and high bills of Britain’s fuel poor, enters its second day, and temperatures drop to -3°C.
This month the Government trumpeted its success at hitting its target of improving 1 million homes ahead of schedule. However fuel poverty campaigners have slammed this as little more than political spin. Had the level of delivery seen in 2011/12 continued, the figure would be nearly 2.8 million.
A fuel poverty time bomb has been created. While energy bills have recently dropped, many bill payers are still suffering and will struggle even more when they rise again in future. More worryingly, the measures most households have received to date are simply not enough to stop heat leaking, with most receiving just one improvement. The Energy Bill Revolution estimates most households need 3 measures installed to protect themselves from high energy bills.
A Government commitment to making energy efficiency a top infrastructure spending priority is the only solution.
On Sunday, chief executives of almost 100 businesses, charities and unions wrote to the leaders of the three main parties demanding they put energy efficient homes at the top of their agenda. The letter, which appeared in The Sunday Telegraph, calls for politicians to back a national scheme to make all low income homes super-energy efficient by 2025, with 2 million treated by 2020.
Ed Matthew of the Energy Bill Revolution said:
“The Government’s energy efficiency policies have been an unmitigated disaster.
“It is a complete disgrace that we are one of the richest countries in the world yet thousands continue to die of the cold because they can’t afford to keep their homes warm.
“If we are to end this needless suffering, we must make the homes of the fuel poor super energy efficient and roll out a national programme street by street through every constituency in the land.
“The programme, supported by infrastructure funds, would save UK households billions, slash gas imports and create over one hundred thousand jobs”.
Notes to Editors
About the Energy Bill Revolution
The Energy Bill Revolution, the world’s largest anti-fuel poverty campaign group, is calling for a radical new approach to home energy efficiency. They are calling for all 6 million low income homes to be given measures by 2025 to bring them up to Band C on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and for all other households to be offered 0% interest loans to improve them to an equivalent EPC standard by 2035, delivered as part of a major infrastructure investment programme.
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