Report accuses UK government of slashing support for fuel poverty

Posted at November 28, 2012 » By : » Categories : News » Comments Off on Report accuses UK government of slashing support for fuel poverty

A report from the Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) out on Monday has accused the UK government of significantly reducing the financial help on offer to the fuel poor.

According to the report, despite taking into account all the government’s new policies, the country’s fuel poor have received 26% less money between 2009 and 2013, with the total amount now likely to reach the fuel poor standing at just £879 million.

In what ACE claims is the first non-governmental in-depth analysis, the report claims that the budget for energy efficiency measures for the fuel poor in England has been cut by 44% to just £209 million over the same period.

Despite the launch of the government’s much-vaunted Green Deal, which is apparently getting a £2.9 million advertising campaign, ACE estimates that the number of fuel poor homes in England being helped will fall from 150,000 in 2009 to 100,000 in 2013.

This proportion makes up just 2.6% of the households projected to be in fuel poverty by the government itself.

Even the government’s raft of new measures, including the Green Deal, will only increase the proportion of fuel poor households in England receiving support from 31% to 33%.

But there is enough revenue from carbon taxes to end fuel poverty and help every homes in the UK become more energy efficient, says the report, which was commissioned by the Energy Bill Revolution campaign – a fuel poverty alliance of charities, consumer groups, businesses and unions.

According to its calculations, the government will raise over £2 billion in 2013 in carbon tax revenue from an average £25 levy on the typical electricity bill. By 2020, this will have risen to £4 billion as consumers pay an average £54.

“Instead of tackling the blight of fuel poverty, the Government has spent far too long twiddling its thumbs: two and a half years reviewing how fuel poverty is defined while at the same time drastically eroding budgets to tackle the problem,” says Jenny Holland of ACE. “The government must now urgently recycle carbon tax to make the homes of the fuel poor highly energy efficient. It’s time to end this national scandal.”

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Related stories:
UK government to transform energy use with efficiency strategy (13-Nov)
Energy efficiency is best way to boost UK economy, says Consumer Focus (9-Nov)
Householders to get up to £1000 cash back in Green Deal offer (22-Oct)
Slow start to Green Deal putting 16,000 UK jobs at risk (11-Oct)

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