Future Governments must tackle fuel poverty

Future governments will be required to help fight fuel poverty by helping the coldest and most inefficient properties in England become more energy efficient. Tackling this problem is a priority for our current government.

‘Fuel poverty’ is used to describe households on low incomes with high energy costs, often caused by poorly insulated homes. Currently only 5% of England’s 2.3 million fuel-poor homes reach the Band C standard. Raising standards will cut bills significantly, as a typical F or G energy rated property can have energy bills more than £1000 higher than a Band C rated property.

Under the proposals published last month, by 2030 it will become a legal obligation for as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable to be raised to a Band C energy efficiency rating.The proposals include improving as many Band E as possible by 2020 and Band D by 2025, pushing up standards consistently over time.

One in ten privately rented homes have the lowest energy efficiency rating, with nearly 20% of these homes being in fuel poverty – almost double the national average. These proposals give domestic tenants the right to request their landlords carry out energy efficiency improvements from 2016. From 2018, the least energy efficient rental properties will not be allowed to be let until they are improved to an Energy Performance Certificate rating of Band E. Any energy efficiency improvements must be financeable without any compulsory upfront cost to the landlord.

Commenting on the fuel poverty proposals, the Chairman of the independent Fuel Poverty Advisory Group, Derek Lickorish MBE, said: “The government’s announcement of a new 2030 fuel poverty target has been eagerly anticipated and I welcome the details being announced today. I am cautiously optimistic that the new law will drive significant improvements to the living conditions of the fuel poor across England. As we move towards a Band C, and as insulation and heating technology improves and becomes cheaper, there will be no let up by FPAG in striving to reach this target by an earlier date”.

SBS can provide a wide range of products and services to help make your property energy efficient and save you money on energy bills. For more information, please call our helpline on 0800 688 8388 or Email helpline@tpsbs.co.uk.

This article has been adapted from a DECC publication.