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Government policy leaving rural fuel poor out in the cold
Published:  24 September, 2014

Fuel poverty charity, National Energy Action, and rural energy supplier, Calor Gas, have called on the government to take urgent action to address the growing crisis of fuel poverty in rural off-gas areas.

In a joint report entitled

The report is a follow-up to a paper published by NEA and Calor in 2013 which highlighted official statistics showing that fuel poor households located off the gas network are typically prone to much more severe fuel poverty and despite policy interventions, these households are least likely to benefit from current policies.

One Year On

The report highlights that, despite this progress, the latest set of fuel poverty and ECO delivery statistics show that the depth of rural off-gas fuel poverty is deepening with little prospect of improvement under current energy efficiency and fuel poverty policies.

In light of this, both organisations continue to share serious long term misgivings regarding access to, and delivery of, properly targeted help and support for householders who live off the gas grid and who want to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Launching the report at the Labour party conference in Manchester, Holly Sims, corporate affairs manager at Calor, said:“There can be no further justification for not taking adequate action to support these households. All too often the government’s energy efficiency schemes have failed rural off-gas grid areas, especially the poorest. The new fuel poverty strategy is a key opportunity to address these issues.”

Maria Wardrobe, NEA director of external affairs added: “The report highlights the critical importance of the next Comprehensive Spending Review following the General Election in May 2015. Without an enhanced spending commitment, resources will continue to be insufficient and directly after the election there will be a need to dramatically strengthen and supplement existing programmes. In return, this improved approach will deliver new jobs and economic growth, reduce pressure on health services, increase energy security and reduce carbon emissions. Most importantly, it will provide a long-term, sustainable solution to unaffordable fuel bills and secure warm, healthy homes for all consumers, wherever they live.”