Government recognises energy efficiency is key to tackling fuel poverty

July 9th, 2013

The Government today launched a new action plan on fuel poverty. It includes a new definition for fuel poverty in England and an amendment to the Energy Bill.


The new definition on fuel poverty accepts the recommendation byProfessorJohnHillsto define fuel poverty on the basis of those who are both on low incomes and have high energy bills. This replaces the current definition which says a household is fuel poor if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on energy to keep warm. The new definition will reduce the number of households inEnglandby 1 million and the way it is calculated makes it impossible to eliminate.


The amendment to the Energy Bill will place a duty on the Government to set regulations for tackling fuel poverty. These regulations are likely to include a target on making the homes of the fuel poor more energy efficient.


Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution said:


“The Government has finally admitted defeat on its legal duty to do everything reasonably practicable to eliminate fuel poverty by 2016.  The silver lining is that the Government has finally recognised that energy efficiency is the best long term solution to fuel poverty and they must set a target to make fuel poor homes far more energy efficient. They must now ensure an ambitious target is set.


The Government’s biggest mistake is that they still think that it is not affordable for the Government to fund a much more ambitious energy efficiency programme.  They have just announced an infrastructure programme worth £100 billion for theUKyet not one penny is to be spent on making homes super insulated. This is a massive black hole in their infrastructure plans and shows that the Government has its infrastructure priorities badly wrong.  The Government must understand that public funding for energy efficiency is not only affordable, it is also a huge economic opportunity.”

MPs supporting the campaign
The only permanent solution to drive down energy bills and end fuel poverty.