NEA comment on update to Fuel Poverty Strategy for England

For immediate release

Today the UK Government has published a consultation on updating the current Fuel Poverty Strategy for England. The document highlights that whilst some limited progress has been made to meet the statutory goal of ensuring all fuel poor homes in England achieve minimum energy efficiency standards by 2030, progress to meet the goal and the nearer term milestones is now flat-lining. The document also highlights the number of households with children in fuel poverty is up by 12% since 2010.

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of NEA comments:

“Progress to meet the statutory target and near-term milestones is flat-lining and shockingly the number of homes with children in fuel poverty is actually rising, up by 12% since 2010.

“The UK Government recognises more needs to be done to end the blight of cold homes and NEA will work with them to help millions of the most vulnerable people who are trapped in the least efficient homes.”

New government statistics released last week showed that the number of energy efficiency upgrades undertaken each month has fallen to 10,000 on average for the six months to the end of May. This compares with an average of 65,000 a month in 2014. This news followed a recent critical report by the influential Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s which highlighted that England remains the only UK nation that provides no central government investment to improve domestic energy efficiency. The committee also stressed the need to extend current regulations on landlords so they can only rent out energy efficient homes.

Scorer continues:

“Over 2 million fuel poor homes in England have no or inadequate levels of loft insulation, over half a million have uninsulated cavity walls and 1 million have solid walls with no insulation and are the most expensive to heat.

“It is important that government recognises that we are off track. Unless it commits greater, central investment to improve the homes of the fuel poor, fuel poverty targets will be meaningless and ambitions to achieve net zero carbon will be fanciful.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. NEA works across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone in the UK can afford to live in a warm, dry home. For more information about visit https://www.nea.org.uk/.
  2. The government’s consultation can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/fuel-poverty-strategy-for-england.
  3. Meeting fuel poverty commitments by improving energy efficiency complements ambitious action to meet wider housing, climate change and air quality obligations and ensures everyone is able to access the benefits of the wider low carbon transition. Ending fuel poverty also directly reduces the risk of premature death, acute physical and mental illness and reduces pressures on our stretched health services.
  4. To achieve this vision NEA are calling for a coordinated programme of locally-led, area-based energy efficiency schemes alongside nationally available ‘safety net’ grants for households who miss out on, or cannot wait for, area-based schemes to reach them. This combination of area based energy efficiency schemes and a self-referral safety net programme has been the hallmark of energy efficiency delivery for low income households in the devolved nations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales in recent years.
  5. In the short-term, NEA is calling for the introduction if a new ‘clean growth fuel poverty challenge fund‘. The fund would operate from late 2019 to 2025. It would help the poorest households living in rural areas and other hard to heat homes.
  6. For more information about what NEA believes the UK Government’s priorities should be ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrmwYAS7i0E.
  7. The, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee’s report into energy efficiency can be viewed here and their PR here. The committee’s report and disappointing recent home energy efficiency statistics were also included in a related story in the Guardian last week.

 

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