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Fuel Poverty – a National Perspective Rebecca Jones National Energy Action 18/03/2018 Fuel Poverty – a National Perspective Rebecca Jones National Energy Action 18/03/2018

National Energy Action • Independent national charity working to promote affordable warmth • Campaigning National Energy Action • Independent national charity working to promote affordable warmth • Campaigning for investment in energy efficiency for most vulnerable • Project delivery – providing practical help to people struggling with keeping warm at home • Training for front line staff to raise energy awareness • Research team • Consultancy for local authorities and others • Working in partnership across all sectors 18/03/2018

What is fuel poverty? In England, the definition of fuel poverty is based on What is fuel poverty? In England, the definition of fuel poverty is based on a Low Income High Costs (LIHC) framework. A household is said to be in fuel poverty if they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level) and were they to spend that amount they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line. Put simply…. . “The inability to afford to adequately heat the home” B. Boardman, Oxford University

Fuel Poverty – The Facts • Latest Government figures for England state that around Fuel Poverty – The Facts • Latest Government figures for England state that around 2. 4 million households in fuel poverty • The average fuel poverty gap (the additional amount a household would need, per year, to make their energy bills affordable) is £ 438. • The average annual fuel bill is now £ 1320, up from £ 605 in 2004

What are the causes of Fuel Poverty? § Low energy efficiency of house § What are the causes of Fuel Poverty? § Low energy efficiency of house § Low household income § Cost of fuel § Occupancy level related to size of house § Property rich + cash poor

Who is vulnerable? Older people Pregnant Young children Tendency to coughs & colds • Who is vulnerable? Older people Pregnant Young children Tendency to coughs & colds • Asthmatics • Poor circulation • • • Disabled/mobility problems • Long term illness • Recovering from hospital treatment • Recovering from stroke/heart attack = Anyone living in the house

Excess Winter Deaths § On average 20 -30, 000 more people die in winter Excess Winter Deaths § On average 20 -30, 000 more people die in winter (December to March) in the UK than would be expected from death rates in the rest of the year. § Last winter = 43, 900 Highest since 99/00 § Nearly 90% are over 65 § 40% of these deaths are from cardiovascular disease & around a third from respiratory disease.

Prepayment Meter Headlines • Estimated 17% of electricity accounts & 15% of gas accounts Prepayment Meter Headlines • Estimated 17% of electricity accounts & 15% of gas accounts in 2014 in GB were paid using PPM. • 2014 = 4. 5 million electricity PPM accounts & 3. 4 million gas PPM accounts (2% & 4% more than 2013) • Approx. 60% newly-installed PPMs were to manage debt. • About 3% electricity PPM customers & 3% gas PPM customers switched to credit meters in 2014. • 2014, = around 300, 000 new electricity PPMs & around 320, 000 new gas PPMs were installed.

Assistance Available • • Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Warm Home Discount Scheme Fuel suppliers’ Assistance Available • • Energy Company Obligation (ECO) Warm Home Discount Scheme Fuel suppliers’ grants and hardship funds Other Charitable Trusts for ex-servicemen etc Cold Weather Payment Winter Fuel Payment Local authority

Energy Company Obligation (ECO) • For low income, vulnerable households in private tenures. • Energy Company Obligation (ECO) • For low income, vulnerable households in private tenures. • Available measures may include boiler repair or replacement, loft or cavity wall insulation. Qualifying householders may get all or part of the cost of the measure(s). Eligibility criteria: State Pension Credit Child Tax Credit with a household income under £ 16, 010 Working Tax Credit with a household income under £ 16, 010 Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance – with qualifying components • Income Support/ Universal Credit with qualifying components • • Energy Saving Advice Service Tel: 0300 1234 © NEA 2015

Warm Home Discount Scheme § Financial support for fuel poor and vulnerable low income Warm Home Discount Scheme § Financial support for fuel poor and vulnerable low income households from Energy companies § £ 140 for the winter 2015 -2016 § § § One-off discount on electricity bill, usually between September and March. Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit = automatic Broader Group need to apply: • • • © NEA 2015 State Pension Credit Child Tax Credit with a household income under £ 16, 010 Working Tax Credit with a household income under £ 16, 010 Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance – with qualifying components Income Support/ Universal Credit with qualifying components

Priority Service Register (PSR) Each energy supplier will have their own version of the Priority Service Register (PSR) Each energy supplier will have their own version of the register. Who is eligible: • customers of pension age • disabled or chronically sick • blind/ visually impaired and hearing impairment Services include: • bills and leaflets in large print & Braille • talking bills • password protection • special controls and adaptors • Free annual gas safety checks © NEA 2015

Turning Fuel Poverty into Affordable Warmth • Improve energy efficiency – e. g. insulation Turning Fuel Poverty into Affordable Warmth • Improve energy efficiency – e. g. insulation (wall, loft, double glazing or draughtproofing), efficient boiler and controls • Energy efficiency advice – e. g. how to use heating and hot water controls, tariff and payment check • Income maximisation – e. g. benefit entitlement check, Cold Weather Payment, Winter Fuel Payment or Warm Home Discount © NEA 2015

Contact details Rebecca Jones Rebecca. jones@nea. org. uk Office 01273 810230 Mobile 07738 417448 Contact details Rebecca Jones Rebecca. [email protected] org. uk Office 01273 810230 Mobile 07738 417448