Consultation on the fuel poverty strategy for England
This consultation document sets out several proposals to update the 2015 fuel poverty strategy for England. Key proposals include:
• Metric: Update the way in which fuel poverty is measured to better track progress against the statutory fuel poverty target for England. The proposal is to broaden the measure to capture all low income households living in inefficient homes. The rationale is to reduce the apparent churn in and out of fuel poverty, caused by the current relative ‘Low Income High Costs’ measure, so that as action is taken to improve homes to an energy efficiency rating of Band C the number of households in fuel poverty can reduce over time, and it is clear whether the action we are taking is having sufficient impact.
• Target and Milestones: Retain the statutory fuel poverty target to ensure as many fuel poor households as is reasonably practicable are improved to a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C by the end of 2030 and the supporting interim milestones of as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable to Band E by 2020 and Band D by 2025.
• Vulnerability: proposal to clarify that we will consider the impact of our policies on the health and wellbeing of people on very low incomes. People may be vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home if they are of a certain age or living with certain health conditions. Those who are low income, vulnerable and living in an inefficient home should be a priority for support. To meet the fuel poverty target, low income vulnerable households that are living in A-C rated homes will not require additional energy efficiency improvements. However, we should consider the needs of such households in particular circumstances where they may be at risk of serious health impacts, such as if their boiler breaks and they are unable to repair it.
• Sustainability principle: A new principle which would ensure that policies contributing to the fuel poverty target are complementary to other Government priorities such as the Clean Growth Strategy, Air Quality Strategy and the Industrial Strategy.