Today, the Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee published the findings of its inquiry into fuel poverty and the Warm Homes Programme
A report has been published on 18 May by the Senedd’s Equality and Social Justice Committee following its inquiry into fuel poverty and the Warm Homes Programme.
National Energy Action (NEA) gave written and oral evidence to the Committee earlier in the year. We are pleased to see our evidence reflected in the Committee’s report, helping shape many welcome recommendations.
The Committee makes a total of 23 recommendations. In the immediate term, these include recommendations for the Welsh Government:
- to undertake a review of the support offered to low-income households via the Winter Fuel Support Scheme, so that improvements can be made before autumn 2022
- to expedite its review of the priority actions in the Tackling Fuel Poverty Plan, to identify immediate to short-term actions it could take to support households struggling with fuel poverty, and the setting of interim targets.
The Committee also make several welcome recommendations regarding the next iteration of the Warm Homes Programme, including for the Welsh Government to ensure the Programme:
- embeds the ‘fabric and worst first’ approach to retrofitting, targeting the poorest households in the least fuel-efficient homes;
- is bigger in scale, with smarter, less restrictive eligibility criteria, and greener in its interventions, looking to cover the cost of enabling works, removing the single application cap to help accommodate multiple measures, and designing a more intelligent means of limiting costs
- backed by a robust data collection, monitoring and evaluation framework, with a fit-for-purpose quality assurance regime.
The Committee also recommended for the Welsh Government to:
- create an energy efficiency scheme to tackle rural fuel poverty, addressing some of the specific challenges in rural areas
- improve energy efficiency in the PRS through a combination of incentives, standards and engagement
- set out its preferred legal mechanism for underpinning the Programme, including how it will ensure the Senedd and other stakeholders are able to scrutinise these robustly.
To see the Committee’s report in full, please visit the Senedd’s webpage here.