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Eight Million Households Could be in Fuel Poverty by 2030
The Committee on Climate Change has warned that the number of UK households in fuel poverty could be as high as eight million in the next 15 years.
The stark message is contained within the committee’s document ‘Energy prices and bills – impacts of meeting carbon budgets’ which was published this week. Household bills increased from £650 in 2004 to £1,140 in 2013: that is a 75% increase over a period when there was general price inflation of 23%.
Committee members claim that 80% of the increase was due to factors unrelated to low carbon policies, pointing to the fact that had it not been for a reduction in energy consumption due to efficiency measures, the average bill would have been increased by a further £165.
The authors also point to geographical variations across the UK, with Scotland appearing to be particularly badly hit. Scottish government figures show that 940,000 households in the region were considered to be in fuel poverty, promoting Scottish Housing Minister Margaret Burgess to say, “Fuel prices rose by an inflation-busting seven per cent in 2013, pushing more people into fuel poverty. The fact that this is happening in an energy-rich country is scandalous. Fuel costs have risen six times faster than incomes since 2003, while the UK Government’s fiscal policies since June 2010 will leave the poorest 20 per cent of households worse-off by the equivalent of £441 a year in 2015-16.”
You can view a full copy of the Committee on Climate Change Report here