In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron from the Energy Bill Revolution, an alliance against fuel poverty which includes Age UK and Barnardo’s, it is claimed that the UK is the second worst in Europe for householders suffering from fuel poverty. Fuel poverty is defined as applying to those households which spend at least 10% of their income on heating bills. Around five million households suffer from fuel poverty in the UK.
Referring to the problem of fuel poverty as a ‘national scandal’, the Energy Bill Revolution alliance said that investment in home insulation was the only way for householders to control their increasing energy bills. Recently, British Gas, SSE and npower have all increased their gas and electricity prices.
A spokesperson for Downing Street replied by claiming that the Government is helping those suffering from fuel poverty with winter fuel payments, the Warm Homes discount and legislation to force gas and electricity suppliers to put customers on their best deal.
In addition, the ECO Affordable Warmth scheme provides free energy efficient gas central heating boilers and insulation to those householders which qualify. Private householders, who receive certain State Benefits and have an inefficient and faulty boiler, could have it replaced with a more energy efficient boiler funded by the ECO Affordable Warmth scheme. Replacing a ‘G rated’ boiler with an ‘A rated’ boiler under this scheme would save the average household over £300 per year on their gas bills.