29 Mar 2013

UK bottom re fuel poverty

Snow last weekend
The UK comes bottom of a fuel poverty league table for western Europe, according to new research released today (download pdf report from link below). Pitiful levels of insulation mean astronomic energy bills. Although most other European countries face higher energy prices than those of the UK, better quality home insulation means our European neighbours pay less to heat their homes. The heat leaking from the UK’s homes is condemning over five million households to fuel poverty this winter, and this number is predicted to rise to eight million within the next four years.

This shocking news re Britain being bottom caught my eye as I am writing a brief update re the Task and Finish inquiry group I chaired for the Council's Annual Scrutiny report...back in the November 2010 I chaired a Scrutiny Task and Finish group that started to look at the Decent Homes Standard for our Council housing stock. This reported in Spring 2011 and the recommendations were approved by Cabinet. These recommendations included an Energy Strategy for the Council and working with tenants on a Stroud Housing Standard. The Tenant Services Energy Strategy was passed by the Executive in November 2012 and following discussions with tenants and the Stroud Housing standard is nearly completed.

As I've said before approximately 30% of our housing stock (ie around 1,700 homes) requires major investment to improve energy efficiency. The number of households in fuel poverty in Stroud is around 15% and this looks set to grow, so it is vital we mobilise resources most efficiently and target those most in need. The Stroud Housing Standard and Energy Strategy will both help reduce carbon and make a serious start to tackling growing fuel poverty - but not enough - we need more action from Government. 

Download: http://www.energybillrevolution.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Press-Release-UK-Suffers-Worst-Fuel-Poverty-in-Europe.pdf

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