NEA welcome London Mayor’s commitment to tackle cold homes in the capital
Today the Mayor of London pledged to play an active role in tackling cold homes in the capital. He also committed the GLA to the development of a new fuel poverty action plan. In response, Peter Smith, Director of Policy and Research at fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) commented:
“We welcome the Mayor prioritising ending the cost and suffering caused by cold homes in the capital. Whilst its’ still early days, he has rightly outlined many of the actions that are necessary. In particular, the Mayor stated that GLA will develop a new fuel poverty action plan and new energy efficiency initiatives focused on reducing fuel poverty. This is particularly welcome given likely reductions in national programmes. It is also promising that he has asked for further information about the opportunity to expand the innovative Seasonal Health Intervention Network (SHINE) referral services across other London boroughs. NEA look forward to working alongside the Mayor, his team and the boroughs in the coming months to help end cold homes in the capital”.
The Mayor was responding at Mayor’s Question time to a question from Dr Onkar Sahota AM which noted there are as many as 348,000 fuel poor homes in London [Question 2016/3848]. Dr Onkar Sahota is Chair of the Health Committee and said he has big concerns regarding the health impacts of fuel poverty on older households in London. (scroll through to 2hr:22mins): https://www.london.gov.uk/london-assembly-mayors-question-time-2016-10-19.
- NEA is an independent charity working to protect low income and vulnerable households from fuel poverty and exclusion in the energy market. NEA has a network of offices throughout England and also has national offices in Cardiff and Belfast which also work to support deprived communities and low income energy consumers in Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.
- NEA works to influence and increase strategic action against fuel poverty at a national level through its policy, research and campaigning functions. The charity similarly works with partners from industry, government and the third sector to deliver practical solutions to UK households – improving access to energy advice, energy efficiency products and other related services for vulnerable consumers. NEA believes that radically improving the fabric and heating of homes represents the most cost effective long-term solution for tackling high energy bills and helping to eradicate fuel poverty. NEA also provide the secretariat for the All-Party Parliamentary Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency Group, which was first established in 1995 as the Parliamentary Warm Homes Group, to raise awareness of the problem of fuel poverty and the policies needed to eradicate it.
- Since 2011 the Low Income High Cost (LIHC) indicator definition is now used in England. This states that an individual is considered fuel poor where they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level) and were they to spend that amount; they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line. The low income high cost measure consists of two parts, the number of households that have both low incomes and high fuel costs and the depth of fuel poverty amongst these households. Prior to the introduction of the Low Income High Costs indicator in England, fuel poverty was measured under the 10 per cent indicator across the whole of the UK. The 10 per cent indicator continues to be used in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Under this indicator, a household is considered to be fuel poor if they were required to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on fuel to maintain an adequate standard of warmth. An adequate standard of warmth is usually defined as 21ºC for the main living area, and 18ºC for other occupied rooms.