NEA Cymru responds to the release of new fuel poverty figures by the Welsh Government

For immediate release
21 May 2019

Carole Morgan-Jones, Director, NEA Cymru

Improving the energy efficiency of our existing housing stock is one of the main ways to end the misery of fuel poverty and whilst the new figures are encouraging, we will need to examine the detail of how the figures have been calculated when further analysis is released later in the summer. 

Whilst these figures show that some progress has been made, the scale of the problem remains significant.  Over 1,000 deaths occurred in Wales directly related to living in a cold home in 2017-18.  Our analysis published in our investigative Fuel Poverty Monitor report last year found organisations struggling to cope with the increase in demand for their services during the winter of 2017-18, from those clients unable to pay for repairs to their broken heating systems, to others needing emergency meter top ups or temporary electric heating.

We welcome the Welsh Government’s commitment to a new fuel poverty plan and cold weather plan. It is now of paramount urgency that these two government initiatives are delivered promptly, and we look forward to working with them over the coming months to ensure they will help those households on the lowest incomes and in the leakiest and coldest homes.

Notes for editors:

  1. For press enquiries please contact Carole Morgan-Jones or telephone 02920 229322.
  2. NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity and works across Wales, England, and Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone in the UK can afford to live in a warm, dry home. To achieve this, we aim to improve access to energy and debt advice, provide training, support energy efficiency policies, local projects and co-ordinate other related services which can help change lives.
  3. 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. The latest estimated figures show that 155,000 households in Wales were living in fuel poverty in 2018, equivalent to 12% of all households and 32,000 households were living in severe fuel poverty, equivalent to 2% of households.  See: https://gov.wales/fuel-poverty-estimates-wales-headline-results-2018
  4. 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.
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