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Raising the SAP

Tackling fuel poverty by investing in energy efficiency

(report to Consumer Focus)

Consumer Focus commissioned the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) and the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) to investigate the impact of carrying out a major retrofit energy efficiency programme in England that would bring the properties of ‘fuel poor’ households up to a target SAP81 or Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band B standard. The information was required to provide evidence for a fuel poverty bill before Parliament, which seeks to tackle fuel poverty by improving the energy efficiency of homes. The bill proposes target standards of EPC band B, or in the case of ‘hard to treat’ properties, EPC band C. The standards were selected on the basis that they would ensure the vast majority of households living in improved properties could enjoy ‘affordable warmth’ and no longer live in fuel poverty. For this reason, the programme is referred to as ‘fuel poverty proofing’ properties.

This report presents the results of the research. The research uses modelled data from the 2006 English House Condition Survey. In brief, the research found that the proposed retrofit programme would almost entirely eliminate fuel poverty in England. It would also prevent the risk of fuel poverty re-occurring in the future.

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