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
community-based energy efficiency measures through a new Community
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
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.