Making Energy Better: An investigation into the energy challenges faced by rural communities in Dorset

Purbeck Citizens Advice has recently published a report into the energy challenges faced by rural communities in Dorset, looking particularly at the difficulties encountered by households living in areas not connected to a mains gas supply. The report was commissioned by Citizens Advice in Dorset (CAiD), funded by the national Citizens Advice ‘Making Energy Better’ campaign. It’s publication coincides with Rural Housing Week, focusing on the national issues and aspirations for a living, working countryside.

The report highlights the link between being ‘off-gas’ and living in fuel poverty and looks at the impact on individuals and families. In some areas of rural Dorset, 16.5% of households have fuel costs which are above average and, if they were to spend that money, would be living below the poverty line. National action to reduce fuel poverty including promoting competitive markets through switching fuel supplier and improving housing quality through grants have had little impact in rural Dorset. This is due in part to poor internet service making it difficult to obtain competitive energy prices and the prevalence of private rented accommodation restricting the availability of housing upgrades.

The report concludes with a number of recommendations which need to be taken forward in partnership with organisations across rural Dorset.

You can find a copy of the report on the Citizens Advice in Dorset website.

Published on 12-07-2016
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