ACRE welcomes Fuel Poverty Strategy
by Phillip Vincent,

ACRE welcomes Fuel Poverty Strategy

The government’s strategy for ensuring everyone can afford the energy required to keep their lights and heating on is applauded by national rural charity.

On Thursday 11 February, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published a long-anticipated strategy for addressing fuel poverty – 18 months after it was first announced.

The strategy, ‘Sustainable warmth: protecting vulnerable households in England’ sets out a number of commitments, including a new fuel poverty measure, guiding principles, and new funded schemes.

Fuel poverty is a particular issue for many rural communities especially those that are off the gas grid. Residents in these areas often have higher energy bills because of their reliance on heating oil, as well as occupying generally older buildings which are less energy efficient.

In the months and years ahead, ACRE will work with government and our partners to make sure rural communities benefit from these new measures for tackling fuel poverty

ACRE has long campaigned for increased government recognition and support to address the problem, working alongside partners such as National Energy Action and the End Fuel Poverty Coalition.

Paul Dixon, ACRE’s Rural Evidence Manager said of the announcement, “The government’s fuel poverty strategy is to be welcomed. It sets out much needed measures for tackling this important rural issue, backed up with the promise of funding for more vulnerable households. As the pandemic has demonstrated, our homes are more important than ever so it’s especially important households on lower incomes – and particularly those in energy inefficient properties – receive the help they need”.

The government’s strategy is couched in terms of its contribution to achieving a transition to Carbon Net Zero, subsidising the use of more energy efficient technologies.

Richard Quallington, ACRE’s Executive Director said, “Reducing greenhouse emissions and moving towards a Net Zero economy is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. In the months and years ahead, ACRE will work with government and our partners to make sure rural communities benefit from these new measures for tackling fuel poverty.

We will also be pressing for further solutions that will enable village and community buildings to adopt greener technologies and reduce running costs”.

ENDS

Media contact: Phillip Vincent p.vincent@acre.org.uk; 07531107129

ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) is the national body for 38 charitable local development agencies. Together we make up the ACRE Network. Our vision – to be the voice of rural communities – is supported by the wealth of evidence and intelligence on rural matters that we collect from our members.

ACRE is a member of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition. The End Fuel Poverty Coalition is a broad coalition of anti-poverty, environmental, health and housing campaigners, charities, local authorities, trade unions and consumer organisations. The Coalition believes that everybody has the right to a warm, dry home that they can afford to heat and power. It campaigns to influence government and other bodies to take action to end fuel poverty and thereby improve people’s health and quality of life as well as seeking to reduce the cost of living, create jobs and negate carbon emissions in the process. http://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/