Addressing fuel poverty and meeting carbon budgets go hand in hand – 7 October 2014

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) today welcomed the Government’s commitment to a new fuel poverty target and strategy based on energy efficiency improvement. In a letter to Amber Rudd, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, the CCC advised that addressing fuel poverty and meeting carbon budgets can (and should) go hand in hand.

New analysis by the Committee, submitted today to the Government’s fuel poverty strategy consultation, suggests that targeting energy efficiency (in particular insulation) and low-carbon heat measures at the fuel poor would lead to the achievement of both fuel poverty and carbon reduction targets at least cost.

However, current funding commitments are inadequate. The analysis suggests that the current shortfall for meeting the Government’s proposed fuel poverty targets is at least £0.4bn per year. New funding sources (e.g. from infrastructure funding) will be needed – both to meet carbon budgets and to address fuel poverty.

The Committee has also identified that low-carbon heat (e.g. heat pumps) could play an important role in reducing fuel poverty. However, there is a need for incentives to be tailored more effectively for fuel poor homes.

Lord Deben, Chairman of the CCC said:
We welcome the Government’s commitment to a new fuel poverty target and strategy. Millions of people in the UK are living in fuel poverty. In providing advice on the levels of carbon budgets, it is extremely important that we consider implications for fuel poor households. We have previously said that carbon budgets have a neutral impact on fuel poverty levels. However our new analysis suggests that if the measures were targeted specifically at the fuel poor, fuel poverty levels could be significantly reduced.

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