Fuel Poverty: What is already being done?
October 2017 saw the publication of the Government’s Clean Growth Strategy (CGS). The strategy has been criticized for missing the UK’s 5th carbon budget (a 57% reduction against 1990 levels by 2030) by 10%. One of the main reasons for this short falling is a lack of policy to increase energy efficiency. The Clean Growth Strategy sets out how the Government intends to meet its manifesto pledge to upgrade all fuel poor homes to Energy Performance Certificate C by 2030. Since 2013 the mechanism for doing this has been the Energy Company Obligation* (ECO) which provides £640 million per year in funding. However the EEIG estimates that to meet current targets the scheme would need £1.3 billion per year. The CGS has confirmed the continuation of Eco until 2028 but only at the current level of funding.
*Energy Company Obligation (ECO): an energy efficient scheme to help reduce emissions and tackle fuel poverty. The latest changes to the scheme happened in 2017. This offers fuel poor households money off energy efficiency measures. The scheme is funded by energy suppliers who add the cost of the scheme to everyone's bills.
Fuel Poverty in the Rented Sector:
There are about 680,000 rented properties in England with the worst energy efficiency ratings of F and G. Over forty per cent of households in these worst insulated rented homes live in fuel poverty (DECC, 2010).
From the 1st April 2018 there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (Residents Landlord Association). The lowest efficiency rating is G, so therefore E is still incredibly low efficiency. Consumer Focus estimates that by setting the minimum standard even higher at Energy Efficiency Band D, 300,000 households would be able to afford to keep their rented homes warm that cannot today.