While welcoming many “sensible” ideas in the government’s proposed update to its Fuel Poverty Strategy, the Energy Saving Trust has warned the consultation has a “huge gap”.
Issuing its response on 11 September, it explained that the consultation failed to discuss that, owed to a lack of funding, progress was too slow to meet the 2030 target of an energy efficiency standard of “C” for all homes occupied by fuel poor households. The response noted that investment in home energy efficiency would bring “widespread benefits” to the UK economy, but there was no mention in the consultation of where resources will come from, nor the economic benefits that infrastructure investment in tackling fuel poverty will bring. It also stressed there was an urgent need for a nationally coordinated, impartial advice service for England, stating it was “very aware” the consultation had failed to address the role expert advice services in tackling fuel poverty.
With regards to the principle of cost effectiveness within the strategy, the Energy Saving Trust called for it to be calculated on full social benefits rather than energy bill savings. The response explained: “Installing energy efficiency measures doesn’t just help individual homeowners save on bills: it delivers national-scale cost savings, for example to the NHS because fuel-poor householders don’t end up in hospital because of cold-related illnesses. In calculating the pay-back from energy efficiency programmes we need to include those national-scale benefits.”