The All Party Parliamentary Fuel Poverty & Energy Efficiency Group works to stimulate debate across all sides of the House about how to address the trilemma of fuel poverty: rising energy prices, low incomes and poor energy efficiency of the housing stock.
Although fuel poverty is now measured differently across the UK, there remain significant similarities between the characteristics of households at risk of living in a cold home. The main drivers are the price of energy, the level of household income, the physical quality and energy efficiency characteristics of the dwelling and the degree of vulnerability of the occupants.
The physical impacts of living in a cold home cause unnecessary suffering and premature mortality and are a bigger killer than smoking, lack of exercise and alcohol abuse. Impacts on health are significant and can cost health services around £3.6 million per day.
The UK Government and each of the UK nations formally recognise the need for citizens to adequately heat and power their homes. However, since the level of assistance provided for the fuel poor varies across nations, localities, agencies and government programmes, and is dependent upon different funding streams, FPEEG agreed to produce a prospectus in order to summarise the benefits of current local and national schemes which do, or can, provide affordable warmth across the UK.
The report includes information directed to all MPs and agencies delivering affordable warmth by:
- championing existing best practice fuel poverty-alleviating schemes
- outlining measures that help everyone better heat their homes while revising how present success can be expanded
- guiding MPs of benefits they can bring to reduce fuel poverty, and drawing ways alleviation can be expanded to any constituency
- recommending changes to government that supports best practice scheme expansion
The report highlights a number of recommendations that should be taken forward to ensure that we can tackle the cold homes crisis in the UK.