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Committee Calls For More Action On Fuel Poverty

July 29, 2013
Environmental Protection

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p>The Government?s Energy and Climate Change Committee has called for more to be done to help the millions of low-income families struggling to heat their homes. In their report Energy Prices, Profits and Poverty the committee says that; ? while an accurate definition of fuel poverty is important the Government has been unacceptably slow to respond to the Hills Review ( Getting the Measure of Fuel Poverty – March 2012) and take action to stem rising fuel poverty.? Currently the Winter Fuel Payment makes up the biggest expenditure on fuel poverty costing an estimated ?1.723 billion despite Professor John Hill?s review considering it ?one of the least effective ways of solving the problem.? The committee feels fuel poverty policy should continue to concentrate on energy efficiency programmes and prioritise this approach over the provision of financial assistance.

Another area that has come under scrutiny is the imposition of levies on bills to fund energy saving schemes. These have been seen by many as hitting the poorest families hardest as costs impact on all households at roughly the same level. The report has been welcomed by The Citizens Advice Bureaux but Chief Executive Gillian Guy still feels the Government can go further, saying; ; ?Without a comprehensive fuel poverty strategy, increasing transparency will not be enough to solve the 91,000 fuel debt problems which Citizens Advice Bureaux handled in the past year.?

The full report is available from: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmenergy/108/10802.htm?