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Entries in Fuel Poverty (1)


Jobs, growth and warmer homes reports energy efficient programmes will lift homes out of fuel poverty

Consumer Focus has issued a new report, ‘Jobs, growth and warmer homes’ that states fuel poverty could be lifted, if money raised by carbon taxes was invested in a significant energy efficiency programme.

Currently fuel poverty affects over six million UK households, and this number is expected to increase to 9.1 million households (one in three homes) as energy prices go up. It has been reported that energy consumers will see carbon taxes rise each year by an additional £4 billion by 2020, making it increasingly important to make energy efficiency affordable.

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive at Consumer Focus, said: ‘We need to make heating our homes more affordable, cut carbon emissions and achieve economic growth. Using carbon taxes to ensure our homes leak less energy represents a triple-whammy. This would simultaneously improve the quality of life of millions of people, slash carbon emissions and generate greater economic growth than other measures. Consumers will be paying these taxes through their bills. They can and should feel the benefit. 

‘Fuel poverty leaves millions of households having to cut back on essentials like food and heating to make ends meet. The Government’s current energy efficiency and fuel poverty plans will only touch the tip of this iceberg. However, Government has the opportunity to use the large and stable revenues from carbon taxes to deliver the most breathtaking and transformative energy efficiency scheme that we have ever seen.’ 

The research shows:

  • Lift up to nine out of ten households out of fuel poverty
  • Reduce energy bills in all treated homes by at least £200 per year
  • Cut household energy consumption by 5.4 per cent by 2027
  • Quadruple the impact of the government’s energy savings schemes – Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation
  • Cut overall carbon emissions by 1.1 per cent, including household emissions reduced by around 5.6% by 2027

From next year energy firms through the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will be urging households to improve their home’s heating and insulation by offering cashback (Green Deal Cashback Scheme). However, the government has predicted that this will only lift 250,000 homes, at most out of fuel poverty.

It has been argued by The Energy Bill Revolution and Consumer Focus that a majority of carbon tax revenue should be put towards energy efficiency schemes. The Jobs, growth and warmer homes report suggests that fuel poverty could be cut by 75% to 87% depending on the level of investment, by using 95% of carbon tax revenue (60% more).

Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign, said: ‘The Energy Bill Revolution is the biggest fuel poverty alliance that has ever been formed in the UK. We are united by our conviction that there is a financial solution which can end the suffering and generate more jobs than any equivalent investment. This is the Marshall Plan the UK needs to slash the energy bills of the most vulnerable and re-build the economy.’

The government is being urged to carefully look at the research and considered the suggestions made. The report stresses that actions taken in accordance with their suggestions will help to fuel the economic recovery and ‘give vulnerable households ongoing benefits from warmer homes, lower energy bills and better health.’