‘National crisis’: As many as 9 million families will be in fuel poverty by 2016
Unless the government acts quickly, the number of families in fuel poverty could increase by as much as 50% by 2016.
In an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Energy Bill Revolution campaign warned that the cost of energy could push another three million families – on top of the existing six million – into fuel poverty. You can compare energy providers with Money Expert.
According to campaigners, heating accounts for more than 10% of income for some six million families.
Setting aside over 10% of wages for heating a home is known as ‘fuel poverty’ – and the campaign group have warned David Cameron that the number of people trapped in such circumstances could reach 9 million within three years.
As a result of the price hikes enforced by energy companies, household bills are rising at a faster rate than wages.
Ed Matthew, director of the Energy Bill Revolution campaign, said: “The suffering caused by high energy bills is turning into a national crisis.”
To help families become more energy efficient, ministers will launch their Green Deal this month; and the Energy Company Obligation, a £1.3 billion-a-year programme to fund energy efficiency schemes, got underway at the beginning of the year.
But Mr Matthew said that the government “can do far more”.
Speaking to The Times, he said: “There is enough carbon revenue to fund an insulation programme which is five times bigger. It could end fuel poverty and ensure all homes are super-insulated”.
The campaign group claims that initiating a nationwide programme of insulating homes could save the average family £310 a year on energy bills.
Mervyn Kohler, of Age UK, said: “We know the damage that sitting in a cold home, worrying about the cost of putting the heating on can do to people.
“It exacerbates illness, induces unhappiness and depression and excludes people from society. Energy prices will continue to rise — that is inevitable. If we don’t tackle this issue, we will see the numbers in fuel poverty soar.”
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