22 Jan 2013

Getting Council to act on fuel poverty

Fuel poverty is in the news a lot at the moment. The problem of households having to spend over 10% of their income on heating is growing rapidly in this country. There are two main reasons: rising bills and poor insulation.

In the St Albans parliamentary constituency 5,261 households are fuel poor, which is 13.7%. In the Harpenden/Hitchin constituency 5,397 households are fuel poor, which is 13.4%. [Source]

The Energy Bill Revolution campaign has a great idea to deal with this problem - the Government should recycle revenues from carbon taxes into improving the energy efficiency of UK homes. The campaign is supported by over 100 organisations, including Age UK, Barnardo’s, Friends of the Earth, Macmillan Cancer Support, Save the Children and Shelter.

You can sign the petition and email your MP here.

I will be proposing the following motion to the District Council on 30th January:

This Council notes:

1. Approximately 13% of households in the district are in fuel poverty, meaning they need to spend more than 10% of their income on keeping their homes warm. The figure for the UK is 25%. The problem is likely to get worse, with 1 in 3 UK households projected to be in fuel poverty by 2016. 

2. The main reasons for this crisis are that energy bills are high, and the UK’s homes are some of the most energy inefficient in Europe – leaking heat from their doors, walls and windows. 

3. Cold homes are damaging the health of vulnerable members of society, including children, older people and people with disabilities. Diseases such as asthma are made worse, and people are more likely to have strokes and heart attacks. Illnesses caused by cold homes cost the NHS nearly one billion pounds each year. 

4. Over the next 15 years the Government will raise an average of £4 billion every year in carbon taxes through the European Emissions Trading Scheme and the Carbon Floor Price. Recycling this revenue back into households could bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty, lower people’s bills, cut carbon emissions and create jobs. 

This Council therefore resolves to:

1.  Support the Energy Bill Revolution campaign calling for the Government to recycle revenues from carbon taxes into improving the energy efficiency of UK homes. 

2. Notify local Members of Parliament of its support for the campaign and urge them to sign Early Day Motion 47 – ‘Reducing Fuel Bills through Energy Efficiency’.

1 comment:

Carol Hedges said...

If the Government were serious about fuel poverty, they should close the loopholes that mean big energy companies can monopolize the market, and raise prices whenever they want to, with no fear of reprisals. AND they should stop taking benefits away from poor families so that they are unable to keep their homes warm.