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The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has
launched a consultation seeking views on the Government’s proposed
changes to the way fuel poverty is measured in England, setting out
a proposal for a new definition of fuel poverty and the
implications of any change in definition for the fuel poverty
A new way to measure fuel poverty in England is being proposed
by the Government following the independent review on this issue by
Professor John Hills of the London School of Economics
(LSE), published in March 2012.
Ensuring more accurate measurement will help to design effective
solutions to fuel poverty, allowing the resources available to be
targeted where they are needed most.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is proposing
to adopt a new definition based on the overall framework suggested
by Hills in his review. This new proposed definition includes
dual indicators separating the extent of the issue (the number of
people affected) from its depth (how badly people are affected) as
a way to measure the problem.
The consultation also considers the implication of changing the
definition for the fuel poverty target which is currently set out
in the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000. As the
definition of fuel poverty proposed is relative but the current
target is focused on eradication as far as reasonably practicable
by an end date of 2016, the consultation asks for views on whether
the target should be amended to align it with a new type of
definition, as recommended by Hills in his review.
This is not confirmation of a change in the fuel poverty target;
it is recognition of the fact that a new definition may not align
with the target as it currently stands and this needs to be
DECC will publish its decisions following consultation early
next year, alongside an updated fuel poverty strategy to ensure
resources are being used in the best possible way.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said:
“We want to make sure people across the country are able to keep
warm in winter and we have a range of schemes in place already
doing just that.
“But with the number of people living in fuel poverty projected
to rise, the time has come to go back to basics to ensure we are
doing all we can.
“This means defining and measuring fuel poverty in the right way
and working up a new fuel poverty strategy so that we can target
our available resources where they are needed most.”
Source: DECC press notice
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