Heads of European Governments have ignored all the evidence on energy efficiency and failed to set binding targets. What was behind the UK’s opposition? Not that long ago, I recall visiting the offices of those overseeing UK energy policy, to be greeted with a large poster that read: “Real Men Build Power Stations.” How things have changed, you might think. The International Energy Agency now routinely describes energy efficiency as “the first fuel” option. This March the heads of the 28 European Union governments unanimously agreed that increasing investment in energy efficiency should be the “first step” taken to reduce energy imports and increase energy security. The day after he became Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey launched the Energy Efficiency Deployment Office, promising that improving energy saving would be his “number one priority.”
ACE has submitted a written response toe the Department of Energy and Climate Change's consultation on a new fuel poverty strategy for England. A strategy is widely held to encompass the following elements, elements which we would have hoped to see after four years of deliberation: identifying the nature and scale of the challenge at hand; setting goals to meet that challenge; laying out policies, programmes and actions to achieve those goals; and earmarking resources to execute the policies, programmes and actions. Instead, the consultation contained a series of important but ultimately small picture questions. In our response, we focused on answering big picture questions not posed in it.
ACE Research has completed the project "Reaching Fuel Poor Families", which was conducted in partnership with The Children's Society and funded by Eaga Charitable Trust. The research shows that Children's Centres can play a significant role in engaging fuel poor families, especially if schemes are long-term and work in partnership with other local organisations. The report makes recommendations for how local authorities, government, energy companies and the third sector can support engagement with fuel poor families through Children’s Centres.