New report calls for greater investment to tackle fuel poverty in Wales
2 June 2015
A new report by the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action is calling for greater investment to improve the energy efficiency of homes across the UK.
Without such investment the report concludes that the cost and suffering caused by fuel poverty will significantly increase in the future.
The 2015 UK Fuel Poverty Monitor, a report which examines the varying policy approaches to fuel poverty in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is produced by National Energy Action on behalf of Citizens Advice.
NEA estimates that over the next 15 years over 7000 vulnerable people in Wales will die needlessly due to the cold and the national health services in England and Wales will need to spend in excess of £22 billion treating cold related health problems.
To tackle the problem the report recommends that the UK government should use the money it raises through VAT and carbon taxes from domestic energy consumers, to adequately resource initiatives that make homes warmer and healthier.It is estimated that the Treasury will receive £14 billion over the next 5 years with £690m contributed from Welsh energy consumers alone.
Carole Morgan-Jones, Director of NEA Cymru: “This report comes at an opportune time with an ongoing inquiry into fuel poverty and energy efficiency by the Assembly’s Environment and Sustainability Committee and the Welsh Government’s energy efficiency strategy shortly to be published.I hope the report will aid policy and decision makers in Wales in their approach.It is clear that a more concerted effort is needed by devolved and national governments to adequately tackle the nation’s cold homes’ crisis.”
Fran Targett, Director of Citizens Advice Cymru: “Citizens Advice Cymru is pleased to work in close partnership with NEA Cymru in the Wales Fuel Poverty Coalition, providing a strong united voice for people in Wales who struggle to afford their energy bills. We are pleased to have again funded the UK Fuel Poverty Monitor, which provides an independent verdict on progress to tackle fuel poverty across the UK.
“The Welsh Government has a long standing commitment to funding energy efficiency programmes for struggling households, but we must not underestimate the scale of the task of eradicating fuel poverty completely. The Monitor reminds us that we must remain open to new ideas, and always challenge ourselves to find other ways to help people who cannot afford a warm home.”
Notes to Editors:
- For all enquiries please contact Carole Morgan-Jones on 029 2022 9322.
- NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth.For further details visit http://www.nea.org.uk.
- NEA campaigns for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. To date NEA has helped over 7.5 million households in the UK gain access to energy advice and energy efficiency grants.
- The summary or full versions of the report can be found at:http://www.nea.org.uk/monitor2015Following previous collaborations with Consumer Focus and Consumer Futures, this year, the UK Fuel Poverty Monitor is produced with support from Citizens Advice.
- Fuel poverty results from a combination of factors: low household income; unaffordable energy prices; and inadequate heating and insulation standards. The consequences of fuel poverty range from psychological distress, social isolation and physical discomfort to causing or exacerbating serious illness and, in the most extreme cases, to premature death.
- In Wales fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend over 10% of household income on fuel costs to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort.Almost 1 in 3 (30%) of households in Wales were living in fuel poverty in 2012, equating to 386,000 homes.328,000 of these are believed to be vulnerable households (containing a child, older person, or someone who is disabled or has a long term illness).http://wales.gov.uk/docs/caecd/research/130430-wales-fuel-poverty-projection-tool-2011-12-report-en.pdf
- The report highlights that over the term of the UK Parliament (the next 5 years) domestic energy consumers will contribute over £14 billion to the Treasury (£11.82bn in England, £1.33bn in Scotland, £690m in Wales and £190m in Northern Ireland) through VAT and revenue generated from carbon taxes.With the UK Treasury expected to receive this significant windfall, the report concludes that the new UK Government must support the use of these funds (or alternative public infrastructure funds) to adequately resource initiatives that make homes warmer and healthier and in turn encourage economic growth. The report also makes recommendations on other issues that must be addressed at a national level within the four nations.