Rise of fuel poverty must be tackled and measured effectively, says Elmhurst Energy

Published:  05 August, 2016

Elmhurst Energy has expressed its disappointment at the latest government statistics, which show that the number of households in fuel poverty has risen from 2.35 to 2.38 million.

Following the release of the figures by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, now the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), another report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has claimed that poverty costs the UK £78bn a year. The report states that by living in cold, damp or unsanitary housing, there is clearly a link to poverty.

“Elmhurst Energy has long campaigned for the eradication of fuel poverty, which is growing according to these recent reports,” says Martyn Reed (pictured), managing director of Elmhurst Energy. “Our society must ensure that homes are warm and people can afford to heat them adequately. Government is funding a scheme, the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO), to tackle fuel poverty. However, while we welcome this policy, we note that the pot of money in ECO has been reduced from £870m to £640m.”

Although BEIS estimated that between 2017 and 2018, 160,000 households would have measures installed under the fuel poverty aspects of ECO funding, it is proposing to remove the connection to Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and RdSAP.

“We are campaigning to ensure that the reduced sum of money in the ECO Policy is directed towards those families in greatest need. We must target E, F and G-rated homes first and put the families at the heart of the funding,” continued Mr Reed. “ECO is not currently targeting these E, F or G rated properties which in the light of these reports, is fundamentally wrong. Only by measuring energy performance with EPCs can you manage any given process. If the measurement is removed, how will the policy meet the targets and genuinely remove people from fuel poverty and help save the nation substantial costs? We will continue to campaign on these points with the new department.”

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