In his statement to parliament to launch the strategy, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, said:
The strategy policy paper says that DECC is making up to £3 million of funding available for new fuel poverty pilots to encourage innovation, with up to £1 million of funding avaialble immediately to scale up local 'warmth-on-prescription' projects. Another £2 million will support local fuel poverty innovation. The policy document states that "by the end of March we will invite stakeholders to come forward with their own ideas for the types of projects that can best pilot innovative approaches to tackling fuel poverty. Then, over the coming months we will invite bids to this fund".The new fuel poverty target for England sets an ambition that as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable achieve a Band C energy efficiency standard by 2030 and became law in December 2014.
Today’s strategy is our roadmap for meeting that target. It confirms the following interim objectives in the new fuel poverty strategy:
The new fuel poverty strategy also sets out a number of recent and new initiatives that are being taken forward. With almost a fifth of our housing stock in the private rented sector, and a third of the fuel poor living in rental accommodation, a new minimum energy efficiency standard for the private rented sector is in the process of being introduced. DECC are partnering with the NHS to focus on the links between health and fuel poverty. A major focus is on fuel poverty in non-gas homes, with new data, new working groups and our new central heating fund. DECC is also looking at data sources to better identify people in fuel poverty and new types of housing that appear to be badly affected such as park homes.
- as many fuel poor homes in England as is reasonably practicable to Band E by 2020
- as many fuel poor homes in England as is reasonably practicable to Band D by 2025
The strategy paper also says that, in March 2015, Government will publish data at Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) level detailing the proximity of those areas from a mains gas line. In addition, data on the Number of properties with a gas connection split by distance from the distribution network will be made available at postcode level under license to specific organisations. This will be utilised to produce mapping tools, available in spring 2015, which will then be developed to add layers from wider data sets, where possible, such as Indices of Multiple Deprivation (LSOA data); ECO Carbon Saving Communities Obligation and rural sub-obligation (LSOA data); penetration of energy efficiency measures; rural-urban classification; census data; main heating fuel; and benefits claimant counts.
The paper also confirms that the new £25 million Central Heating Fund, announced in the Autumn Statement will be launched in the coming weeks, specifically designed to support the installation of first time central heating systems in up to 8,000 homes in England.
DECC are also working with academics to allow them to "quantify the potential cost savings to health and social care services from delivering energy efficiency measures, including to those in fuel poverty with specific health conditions". This work is expected to be completed in spring 2015.
National Energy Action (NEA) have released a statement in response to the strategy, saying:
The new strategy policy paper is available to download from"Whilst we welcome the Government’s strategy to address the cost and suffering caused by cold homes in England, we clearly need the next Government to be more ambitious and halt this tragedy much quicker.
"The current schemes in England are insufficient in scale and yet can increase energy prices for those that don’t benefit. They also fail to take account of the enhanced needs of vulnerable consumers. As well as joining up action across different departments, adequate resources will be needed if we are to finally put an end to cold homes, related illnesses and premature winter deaths.
"The Treasury will make over £28bn from domestic energy consumers in the next 10 years and alongside the existing public infrastructure budget, there is more than enough funds to radically improve the energy efficiency of 2 million low income homes by 2020 and end the suffering caused by fuel poverty within 10 years. Current resources are less than 20% of what is required to meet this more ambitious target."
https://www.gov.uk/government/publicati ... eping-warm
DECC's response document to their consultation on the strategy has also been published and is available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... or-england
To read Edward Davey's full statement, visit:
https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/ ... or-england
A DECC press release is also available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/a-st ... s-for-good
For NEA's response visit:
http://www.nea.org.uk/media/media-relea ... /030315-01