May 2012: In short, fuel poverty is likely to increase. The main reasons for this crisis are that gas, oil and coal prices are high, and the UK’s homes are some of the most energy inefficient in Europe – leaking heat from their doors, walls and windows. This means they cost much more than they should to heat and power, and they contribute to climate change too.
Cold homes are damaging the health of vulnerable members of society, including children, older people and people with disabilities. Cardio-vascular and respiratory diseases are made worse. Increased incidences of colds and flu exacerbate existing conditions such as arthritis and rheumatisms.
In total, illnesses caused by cold homes cost the NHS £850,000 each year.
The only permanent solution is to make all UK homes much more energy efficient – making them so easy and cheap to heat they effectively become fuel poverty proof. But to make this happen the Government must give much more financial support to energy efficiency programmes.
The carbon floor price and emissions trading scheme will raise £640,000 in the next two years and are expected to be worth £4 billion by 2027.
If these tax revenues are combined with the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) 9.1 million homes could be upgraded with £6,500 of energy efficiency measures by 2027.
The Energy Bill Revolution is calling on the Government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to make our homes super-energy efficient. It is the permanent solution to get families and vulnerable citizens out of fuel poverty.