The Committee on Fuel Poverty has published its first report – spelling out what needs to be done to help England’s 2.38 million households struggling to pay their energy bills.
It is refreshingly clear and doesn’t seem to pull its punches. It highlights the scale of investment needed if the Government is to achieve its strategic targets to increase the energy efficiency of fuel poor homes to Band E by 2020, Band D by 2025 and Band C by 2030. It also argues for better targeting of support, for which better sharing of information between government departments – which they are beginning to do, and that Government funding to address fuel poverty should be complemented by investment from other sources including landlords and by making energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority. Finally, the committee highlights the importance of choosing the right approach to provide help and advice. Whilst supporting a continued obligation on suppliers, the committee also recommends the championing of community-based energy efficiency initiatives and that local health commissioners act on the link between cold homes and ill health.
As this is the first report of a new committee it is a bit more expansive nature than later ones are likely to be, which makes it a useful primer on the Government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy as well as the committee’s role in supporting its delivery.
You can read a concise summary of its key points in the Energy Saving Trust’s blog post on the report, ‘The stark challenge of fuel poverty’, along with their initial response.
For more information about the Committee and to download the report, visit the Committee on Fuel Poverty’s web site.