Sunday, 3 August 2008

Tackling fuel poverty

It is estimated that 4.5 million households are now in fuel poverty, according to Ofgem. As wholesale prices of both oil and gas continue to soar, it is almost inevitable that more price hikes for consumers are on the way. In 2001, the Labour Government pledged to eradicate fuel poverty by 2010, yet it has in fact increased, leaving the Government’s target in tatters and millions facing a fuel price crisis.

The Liberal Democrats have launched a fuel poverty package to tackle this crisis. The key points are :

* Making energy companies invest £500m a year into a rolling programme to make sure homes are properly insulated

* Requiring energy companies to roll out social tariffs to over two million vulnerable customers

* Installing smart meters, which display consumption costs, rather than conventional meters

Vince Cable had an excellent article on tackling fuel poverty, published in the Independent last Thursday - you can read more by clicking on the headline above.