Opinion Former Article

NEA comments on fuel poverty figures

NEA, the national fuel poverty charity is urging the Government to implement a coherent, efficient and adequately resourced strategy to tackle the problems faced by those unable to heat their homes affordably, despite an apparent drop in the number of fuel poor households.

Official Government figures released today estimate that in 2011 the number of households in the UK was around 4.5 million, representing around 17 per cent of all UK households. This would represent a fall of around 0.25 million (approximately 8%) since 2010. However, the report also indicated that the depth of fuel-poverty – the so-called ‘fuel poverty gap’, also increased over the same period.

Maria Wardrobe, Director of External Affairs at NEA commented:

"While the figures appear to show some limited progress, fuel poverty figures for 2013 and 2012 have not been released and are still unclear. Last year the Government estimated that price rises in the latter part of 2011 would have led to an increase of around 0.4m households in 2012 in England. What is certain however is that this remains a serious problem which can only be addressed by the Government implementing a coherent, efficient and adequately-funded fuel poverty strategy."

NEA believes that the only sustainable way of tackling fuel poverty is to improve the energy efficiency of the UK housing stock, and is supporting the Energy Bill Revolution calling for the revenues from carbon taxes to be recycled into a national energy efficiency scheme which could help take 9 out of 10 households out of fuel poverty.

ENDS

Notes

1)    Last year the Government estimated that in 2010, the number of fuel poor households in the UK was estimated at around 4.75 million, representing approximately 19 per cent of all UK households. This was a fall of around 0.75 million when compared to 2009. Today the Government estimated that in 2011, the number of fuel poor households in the UK continued to fall and was estimated at around 4.5 million, representing around 17 per cent of all UK households. This would represent a fall of around 0.25 million (approximately 8%) since 2010. The number of fuel poor households in England also fell to 3.2 million in 2011, from 3.5 million in 2010.

 

2)    The fuel poverty aggregate gap, a new measure recommended by the Hills Review to measure the depth of fuel poverty, increased by £22 million to £1.15 billion in 2011, and the average gap increased by £26 to £448.

3)    The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy commits the Government to eradicating fuel poverty in the UK as far as reasonably practical by 2016 (2018 in Wales).

4)    NEA is the national charity campaigning for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. For further details visit www.nea.org.uk.

Press Enquiries: Sarah Wright, Communications Manager, sarah.wright@nea.org.uk / 0191 261 5677 / Out of hours: 07884371913 (Does not work on Fridays. For urgent enquiries dial 0191 261 5677 and ask to speak to a member of the Communications Team.

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