Credit: Valerie Everett
Energy is increasingly unaffordable for households on
low incomes due to rising energy prices and poorly insulated homes,
according to a
report from a committee of MPs, out today. It calls on the
government to stop the rot by ploughing money into energy
Until recently, the government identified a household as being
in fuel poverty if it spent more than a tenth of its income
on energy. It set itself a
target of as "as far as reasonably practical" eliminating
fuel poverty by 2016. But energy prices are projected to keep
rising, while government strategy on on fuel poverty isn't due to
be published until the end of the year.
Without action, it looks like the situation could worsen.
Government consumer body
Consumer Futures suggested in a committee evidence
session that 6.2 million, or more than a quarter of the country's
households could be in fuel poverty by 2016.
Using energy efficiency to tackle fuel
The Energy and Climate Change (ECC) Committee says the best way
to tackle fuel poverty is to make target households more energy
efficient. But it's not convinced current efforts to achieve this
goal are up to the task.