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Fuel poverty getting worse – and still no Government strategy for dealing with it

Press release: for immediate release

Government figures released today show that both the scale and the severity of fuel poverty in England are getting worse. Despite this, a long-awaited new fuel poverty strategy – first promised before Easter – has still not appeared, and support for the fuel poor under the Energy Company Obligation has been significantly reduced.

DECC’s projections show that fuel poverty in England has increased over the last two years – from 2.28 million households in 2012 to 2.33 million this year. Alongside this, the so-called ‘fuel poverty gap’ has also widened – with fuel poor households now needing an average of £480 more a year in order to heat their homes properly. This is an increase of £37 on 2012.

Jenny Holland, Head of ACE’s Parliamentary Team, said:

“Fuel Poverty Minister Greg Barker has greeted today’s figures as showing ‘welcome progress’. We can’t agree with the Minister that over 2 million fuel poor households represents any kind of ‘progress’ – especially since the Government was supposed to eradicate the problem by 2016. It makes it all the more vital that DECC gets on with publishing its new fuel poverty strategy, which we hope will contain ambitious proposals for actually tackling the crisis.

“Energy efficiency is the only long-term solution to spiralling fuel bills and freezing cold homes. That’s why we believe the new strategy should commit to ensuring that no low income household has to live in a dangerously cold home by 2020 and that they all live in a highly energy efficient home by 2025.

“Instead of tackling the fuel poverty scandal, the Government have wasted four years redefining it to make it seem less severe. Meanwhile, their energy efficiency policies are comprehensively failing the fuel poor. Their new strategy must show real ambition, with a commitment to radical action to tackle the scourge of dangerously cold homes that make people ill.”

For more information, contact: Jenny Holland, jenny@ukace.org, 07875 62978



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    Laurence Budge


    For all its shortcomings, the Warm Front Scheme was vastly superior to the current mess. We need an improved Warm Front with all the lessons learned and additional measures such as solid wall insulation. Energy company profits also need to be reigned in.
    Unfortunately, poverty, including fuel poverty, is being created by current government policies on wages and benefits and climate change policy swamped by fossil fuel interest lobbying.


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