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Central Government Fuel Poverty Strategy
The first new Fuel Poverty Strategy for England 2015 (PDF, 1.8MB) was published on 3 March 2015, and sets out a durable framework for future fuel poverty policies with an ambitious new legal target, accompanying milestones and a strong accountability system.
While the number of fuel poor households rose rapidly from 2004 to 2010, they are now falling. However over 320,000 households in England live in properties that are rated below band 'E' on the Energy Performance Certificate scale. Due to being so energy inefficient these households need to spend on average £1,000 a year more on energy to heat their homes.
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.
The Government's new fuel poverty strategy is the roadmap for meeting the above target and includes the following interim objectives:
- 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 new fuel poverty strategy also sets out a number of recent and new initiatives that are being taken forward, such as:
- A new minimum energy efficiency standard for the private rented sector
- Partnership work with the NHS to focus on the links between health and fuel poverty
- A major focus on fuel poverty in homes that are off the gas network
The Committee on Fuel Poverty is an Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Its primary task is to advise on the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing fuel poverty, and encourage greater co-ordination across the organisations working to reduce fuel poverty.
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)
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