1. Energy is expensive.

The price of gas and electricity continues to rise and energy prices have more than doubled in the past five years. The average household energy bill is now around £1,166 per year (uSwitch.com 2016). Increasing energy demand from growing countries, depleting national resources and government energy and carbon reduction initiatives will all impact on energy prices in the coming years.

2. Evidence shows us that our climate is changing. 

Our climate is continually changing. One of the reasons for this relates to the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions we release into the atmosphere when we burn gas, coal or oil to generate heat and power for our homes, business and transport. Around 27% (approximatley 500 million tonnes) of Britain's annual CO2 emissions comes from our homes.

As a result, evidence is showing that we are becoming vulnerable to more frequent extreme weather events caused by changes in atmospheric conditions such as floods and droughts. 

To address this - the Government has set a challenging 80% reduction in national CO2 emissions on 1990 levels by 2050.

3. Avoiding ‘Fuel Poverty’.

The definition of ‘Fuel Poverty’ has recently changed.

Being in ‘Fuel Poverty’ was previously deemed as having to spend 10% of your income on energy bills. This has recently changed (Spring 2013) to a more general measure of ‘Low Income – High Costs’ (LIHC). This means if you have a low income and your gas and electricity costs are disproportionately high, you could be classed as being in ‘Fuel Poverty’.

The main causes of Fuel Poverty are:

  • Low incomes
  • Rising energy prices
  • Poorly insulated homes and inefficient heating systems
  • Poor energy related behaviour

 

Around 2.38 million (10.6%) households in England were classed as fuel poor in 2014 using this new measure with the average fuel poverty gap for five or more person households has seen the largest increase in energy bills, from £296 to £536 in 2014 (Department for Energy & Climate Change – Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report 2016).


In 2001 the Government committed to ending fuel poverty by 2016. The increasing cost of energy means this target will not be achieved but the Government remains committed to tackling this issue and have established new powers through the recent Energy Bill to pressurise energy companies to do more for their customers to help them understand and reduce their energy use.
 

 

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