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The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy

Ministerial Foreword

  There is no single solution to eradicating fuel poverty. The UK Government and Devolved Administrations have put in place a number of programmes and measures to tackle fuel poverty and they work in partnership with a range of stakeholders. From 1996 to 2004 we made good progress as we saw 4 million households lifted out of fuel poverty, as a result of our energy efficiency programmes, falling energy prices and rising incomes.


The Government is committed to ensuring all homes are warm and since winter 1999/2000 we have seen a downward trend in excess winter deaths. In the winter of 1999/2000 there were 48,500 excess winter deaths in England and Wales, compared to 23,900 for winter 06/07

(the last date for which figures are available). Although the number of additional deaths occurring in winter varies depending on temperature and the level of disease in the population as well as other factors, the overall downward trend over the last ten years is thought to be due in part to warmer homes as a result of central heating and insulation.

During the current spending period £2.3 billion has already been committed to help low income and elderly households improve the energy efficiency and heating systems in their homes, reducing the cost of their energy bills. And of course the Winter Fuel Payment will continue to help 12 million pensioners keep warm this winter.

Despite the considerable resources already committed to tackling fuel poverty, rising energy price rises have made the challenge of tackling fuel poverty more difficult. That is why we are redoubling efforts with our new Home Energy Saving Programme announced on 11 September, which includes:

·                  an increase in the Warm Front Budget by £74m over the next two years;

·                  a proposal to expand energy suppliers obligations under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target by 20%;

·                  a proposed new obligation on suppliers and electricity generators to install community-based energy efficiency measures through a new Community Energy Savings Programme worth £350m targeted at the country’s poorest communities, and

·                  trebling of cold weather payments for this winter from £8.50 to £25 a week.

Fuel Poverty is not something the Government can tackle alone which is why we have been working in close cooperation with energy suppliers, local authorities, social landlords, delivery bodies and third sector organisations, alongside The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG) and across government departments.

In preparing this 6th Fuel Poverty Progress Report we are grateful for the cooperation of Ministers of the Devolved Administrations across the UK.


Malcolm Wicks
Minister of State (Energy)

Phil Woolas
Minister of State (Climate Change & Environment)


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