Fuel poverty charity celebrates innovation, community and education at national conference in Manchester

  • New report highlights only half (53%) of Health and Wellbeing Boards in England are following NICE guidance on fuel poverty in their strategies.
  • The government’s new Committee on Fuel Poverty set out first set of recommendations
  • Winners of the Energy Impact Awards announced.

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) is to hold its annual conference, attended by over 300 major stakeholders, in Manchester with the theme ‘Innovation, Community, Education’.

Sponsored by British Gas, the national conference will take place at Manchester Central from 21-23 September where imminent policy changes and innovative new programmes which tackle fuel poverty will be profiled. Members of the new Committee on Fuel Poverty will be setting out recommendations to government and launching their initial report on the effectiveness of current policies and programmes in meeting the first strategy milestone in 2020.

  • NEA will release a key report assessing the action that Health and Wellbeing Boards are taking to tackle cold-related ill health.Living in a cold home leads to thousands of excess winter deaths each year and aggravates conditions including cardiovascular and respiratory disease, along with mental ill health. Key findings of the report are a cause for concern. They show that the majority of health and wellbeing boards are not yet playing the leadership role envisaged by the NICE and Public Health England guideline and previous public health guidelines on tackling ill health due to cold homes.
  • Winners of NEA’s Energy Impact Awards will also be announced. Prizes of £10,000 and £7,500 are being awarded to two not-for-profit organisations to fund innovative projects that help to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency in their local communities. The Energy Impact Awards are supported by British Gas and also judged by representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Previous winners of the Community Action Awards will also be showcased.

Jenny Saunders, Chief Executive of NEA said: “Fuel poverty still affects over 4 million households in the UK. Our conference will see key stakeholders come together to debate the challenges of fuel poverty and offer new solutions to Government and agencies with a clear mandate to provide help and services. Our report on Health and Wellbeing Boards has raised concerns and shows that they need to take more action on tackling fuel poverty. We estimated earlier this year that nationally, cold homes cost our NHS £3.6 million per day.”

Sarwjit Sambhi, Managing Director of UK Home, British Gas, added: “NEA does vital work to tackle fuel poverty across Britain and we’re pleased to be supporting the charity. British Gas does more than any other energy company to help vulnerable customers and deprived communities. By working together with our partners, we can make a real difference to the lives of low income households across the country.

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