Elmhurst Energy, the energy performance measurement specialist, has submitted its response to the Business Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) consultation on updating the 2015 Fuel Poverty Strategy for England.
The key element influencing the company’s response is the way in which fuel poverty is identified and measured, as it is reportedly believed that this needs to be reviewed so that both high level government statistics can be calculated and can be used to precisely determine whether a particular home is in fuel poverty to ensure that help and support is available where needed. The current complex calculation makes that impossible.
The point has also been made that we need to consider further ways in which the national housing stock can be improved, especially the owner occupied sector which accounts for 74% of our homes.
18% of our homes are in the privately rented and house a disproportionately high proportion of fuel poor households. Good progress has been made with PRS / Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards but The point was made that this must be followed up with strict enforcement and effective policing of the ‘Exemptions Register.’
Direct support is also needed for the high cost to heat homes, homes off the gas grid and those occupants most vulnerable due to age or ill health, especially as other government strategies encourage use of low carbon, but frequently higher costs, fuels.
Retrofit improvements should be managed on a deep retrofit / fabric first basis as described in PAS 2035.
“The fact that as a nation we are still debating fuel poverty and its effects on families throughout the UK is evidence in itself that we haven’t seemed to have made the necessary in-roads in this vital sector,” states Stuart Fairlie, Technical and Operations Director..
“We truly believe that more resources need to be utilised, and that the most in need homes need to be more easily targeted, the occupiers need the home assessed and they need advice and education to enable the improvements to be long lasting.
“It’s 2019 and we are still talking about keep people comfortable, healthy and warm in their own homes, which is depressing as a first world nation. We hope that BEIS finds our responses constructive and useful for taking the changes that are required forward.”
For more information visit www.elmhurstenergy.co.uk.