‘Fuel poverty is unacceptable in the fifth richest country in the world, so stop talking about it and start taking action’ is the message from the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) following the publication of a report from the Committee on Fuel Poverty.
Isaac Occhipinti, head of external affairs at EUA, said: “We agree with the recommendation in the report that the most vulnerable should be targeted. There are far too many people falling through the cracks and there are many who could help to identify them, including GP’s, local authorities and other local community groups.
“A large number of those in fuel poverty could be helped if we targeted those relying on electricity for their primary source of heating. The Energy Saving Trusts estimates that off peak electricity is almost double the cost of gas, with standard rate electricity costing more than triple the cost of gas. Connecting homes that are in close proximity to the gas grid and installing a gas central heating system is cost effective and would significantly reduce the instances of fuel poverty. A further benefit would be the reduction in costs to the NHS on repeatedly treating individuals affected by living in the cold.
“Keeping warm should not be luxury that only the privileged can afford and that is why we must stop talking about the issue and take action.”