Fuel poverty inquiry announced
22 January 2010
The Energy and Climate Change Committee has issued a call for written evidence for its forthcoming short inquiry into fuel poverty
Despite having targets in England to eradicate fuel poverty amongst vulnerable groups by 2010 and in all households by 2016, the problem is getting worse: more than 4 million households were in fuel poverty in England in September 2008, compared to 1.2 million in 2004.
The Government has taken steps to try to improve the situation – for example, through bringing forward legislation to place social tariffs on a statutory footing – and the Committee wants to find out whether those steps are adequate and what more can be done to reduce levels of fuel poverty. The forthcoming election means this will be a short inquiry, with two evidence sessions.
Respondents are free to comment on any issues they consider relevant, although the Committee particularly welcomes evidence addressing the effectiveness (or otherwise) of:
- progress against Government targets
- the definition of households in fuel poverty commonly used – ie, those households where more than 10 per cent of income has to be spent on fuel for adequate heating
- the coherence of the Government’s initiatives on energy efficiency
- the methods used to target assistance at households which need it most
- social tariffs and plans to put social price support on a statutory footing
- winter fuel payments and cold weather payments
- support for households which are not connected to the mains gas grid
The deadline for the submission of written evidence is 15 February 2010.
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