Central Government Fuel Poverty Strategy
The Government published its UK fuel poverty strategy on 21 November 2001 to set out the framework for delivery of the Government's overall goal of seeking an end to the problem of fuel poverty. In the light of the review of fuel poverty carried out by Professor Hills the Government is currently reviewing the existing strategy and a new strategy is expected once the Energy Bill has completed its passage through Parliament.
Between 1996 and 2007 the number of households in the UK suffering from fuel poverty decreased by 1.7 million, vulnerable households. However rising energy prices have had a significant impact and the seventh annual progress report, published in 2009, shows that 2007 was the third consecutive year in which there was an increase in the number of fuel poor households.
The Government's aim is that no vulnerable household should live in fuel poverty by 2010. For households not deemed to be vulnerable the target is to eradicate fuel poverty entirely by 22 November 2016.
The Government's fuel poverty strategy has policies to target the following three main factors:
- household energy efficiency
- fuel prices
- household income.
Progress towards the targets is monitored annually, and the latest annual report is available to download in the attached files section below. Progress reports for previous years and additional information on the strategy can be found by following the link to the Department of Energy and Climate Change website found in the external links section below.
The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group is an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by DTI and DEFRA. Its primary task is to report on the progress of delivery of the Government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy and to propose and implement improvements to regional or local mechanisms for its delivery.
Benefit eligibility is used to determine vulnerability. Those aged over 70 and those in receipt of the following benefits are defined as being vulnerable:
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- War Disablement Pension
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (where household has a relevant income of less than £16,040)
- Working Tax Credit (where household has a relevant income of less than £16,040)