Plans to tackle fuel poverty are slammed by campaigners

Charities and action groups believe that the Government's proposals are woefully inadequate

The government's latest proposals to tackle the UK's catastrophic fuel poverty problem were published with a fanfare this week. But critics accused the coalition of "setting meaningless targets" and ignoring the plight of pensioners.

Under the plans, future governments will be held legally responsible for fighting fuel poverty by making the coldest, leakiest homes in England more energy efficient.

The term "fuel poverty" describes households on low incomes with high energy costs, often caused by poorly insulated homes. The government has an energy rating system for properties with the top-rated being most energy efficient and consequently having much lower fuel bills.

In future there will be a legal obligation for as many fuel-poor homes as "reasonably" practicable to be raised to Energy Performance Band C rating by 2030. Currently only one in 20 of England's 2.3 million fuel-poor homes reach the Band C standard, the government said.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said: "These proposals mark a radical shift away from old policies of tinkering at the edges without tackling the root causes of fuel poverty – homes that need too much energy and leak too much heat to be able to keep warm."

He promised the Government would target the worst properties first, where people in the most extreme cases pay £1,500 more than they need to for their home energy.

The plans are estimated to save the poorest households £1bn a year on their fuel bills. But fuel poverty campaigners united in criticising the delays in helping those in fuel poverty.

Jenny Saunders, of the charity National Energy Action (NEA) said: "There is a significant risk that more than a million fuel-poor households will continue to live in hard-to-heat homes by 2025 and the £1bn savings on bills will not be achieved."

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, was more forthright, branding the strategy "unambitious" and the targets "inadequate".

Ed Matthew, of the Energy Bill Revolution said: "The strategy is so full of holes they will never plug the UK's fuel-poor homes."

Jenny Holland, of the Association for the Conservation of Energy said the plans ignore the most vulnerable people. "By setting a target only for the 2.3 million deemed to be in fuel poverty, the Government is ignoring 2 million households who are far too poor to afford a Green Deal loan to upgrade their home."

The Government's proposals are up for consultation until 7 October. Ms Saunders said: "We will ensure the voices of the fuel-poor are heard through the consultation period."

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

    £50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

    £13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

    Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

    £40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own