New way to measure fuel poverty
18 September 2012
Commenting on Government proposals announced today for a new definition of fuel poverty in England and changes to the current target to eradicate it by 2016, Friends of the Earth's Warm Homes campaigner Dave Timms said:
"However you measure fuel poverty it still adds up to an unacceptable scandal that must be tackled.
"With one in five households unable to afford their energy bills the Government's priority should be urgent action to insulate homes and make them cheaper to heat, rather than re-defining the problem.
"The new definition of fuel poverty has a number of pros and cons, and these must be carefully considered before it is introduced.
"Whatever the measurement, the Government must have a legal duty to rapidly end the scandal of vulnerable people shivering in cold and draughty homes that make them ill, cost a fortune to heat and contribute to climate change."
Notes to editors:
1. DECC press release - New way to measure fuel poverty proposed: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_104/pn12_104.aspx
2. Friends of the Earth is a founder member of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign (www.energybillrevolution.org.uk) which is calling for the Government to use the future revenue it will receive from carbon tax and trading to boost spending on energy efficiency schemes for low-income and fuel poor households. It is estimated that the Treasury will receive on average £4bn annually on average from over the next 15 years. If this was re-invested in energy efficiency it could take 9 out of 10 households out of fuel poverty. The Energy Bill Revolution campaign is supported by over 100 organisations including childrens, health and consumer organisations.
3. Friends of the Earth's Clean British Energy campaign, backed by TV Dragon Deborah Meaden, is urging the Government to listen to the public and transform our broken energy system by developing clean and affordable power from our wind, sun and water. For too long the Big Six energy companies have locked Britain into importing costly gas and coal - causing our fuel bills to rocket. Now 85% of the public would back new Government legislation to make power companies generate more of our electricity from home-grown renewable energy. This, and cutting energy waste, will stabilise fuel bills and create new jobs. To find out more and back the campaign, visit www.cleanbritishenergy.co.uk.
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Sep 2012