Opinion Former Article

NEA: Charity encouraged by Chris Huhne's fuel poverty pledge

The UK’s leading fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) has today welcomed Energy Minster Chris Huhne’s pledge that the needs of fuel poor households will be prioritised in the proposed Green Deal, due to be launched next year.

Speaking from the Liberal Democrat conference being held this week in Birmingham Huhne also promised to ‘get tough’ on the big six energy suppliers saying he wanted to see simpler tariffs, easier methods of switching and fines for bad behavior.

NEA’s Director of External Affairs, Maria Wardrobe said: “We have always maintained that those on the lowest incomes will not be in a position to take on the green deal charge and welcome the ministers promise that funding in the form of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will help those in fuel poverty to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

“The assurance that he will continue to act to ensure that the retail market works for all households is also welcome, it is vital that energy consumers can trust the companies that supply them.

“Those worried about their energy bills should contact the Home Heat Helpline on 0800 33 66 99.”


Editor’s notes.

NEA is the UK’s leading fuel poverty charity campaigning for affordable warmth in the homes of vulnerable people. For further details visit http://www.nea.org.uk

Fuel poverty is defined as the need to spend over 10% of household income on fuel costs to maintain adequate warmth for health and comfort.

3. (Table) Number of fuel poor households nationally 2011.

Countries of the United Kingdom Number of fuel poor households in 2010 % of households in fuel poverty in 2010 Number of fuel poor households in 2011* % of households in fuel poverty in 2011* All households***
England^ 4,021,000 17.80% 5,130,000 22.8% 22,530,000
Scotland 810,000 34.6% 810,000 34.6% 2,344,000
Wales 330,000 26% 330,000 26% 1,268,000
N. Ireland* 300,000 43.4% 300,000 43.4% 691,460
UK^^ 5,465,310 20.3% 6,570,000 24.4% 26,833,460
GB^ 5,163,000 19.7% 6,270,000 24% 26,142,000

^England projection based on notion that all six main suppliers increase their domestic fuel prices by a similar rate by September 2011.
^^The surveys employed to assess trends in fuel poverty nationally are not consistent nor is data collection well synchronised. Consequently it is difficult to be fully confident about the reliability of UK data at any given time.
Sources: ECHS 2001 + 2009; SHCS 2009/EAS 2010; BRE/LiW 2008; and NIHCS 2009
* updated October 2010 - source DSD based on NI House Condition Survey 2009
**updated August 2011 - source Cosumer Focus/CSE ‘Now cast for fuel poverty’ 2010
***ONS Social Trends 38 Regional Household Populations (2011)


Kind regards
Lesley Tudor-Snodin
Communications Officer, NEA

National Energy Action (NEA)
Level 6 (Elswick)
West One
Forth Banks
Newcastle upon Tyne

T: 0191 261 5677
F: 0191 261 6496
E: LTS@nea.org.uk
W: http://www.nea.org.uk/ 

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