The latest annual report from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) covers the year 2011 – many energy price hikes and policy changes ago. The headline is that in England, the numbers of households in fuel poverty fell, from 3.3m in 2010 to 3.2m (and in the UK from 4.75m to 4.5m). These are the households which need to spend 10% or more of their income on energy to keep adequately warm, a definition we have all become accustomed to using. But DECC’s report has turned into a statistical soup, as it struggles to introduce a new definition of fuel poverty (which measures two different things), and reports anyway on a year long forgotten.
For what it’s worth, 2011 was mild (for both the winter months at the beginning and end), and this led to a fall in national domestic energy consumption. It was also the last year when the (now abolished) Warm Front programme was operating at full speed – the tax-funded grant programme targeted on low income households – so energy efficiency improvements were driving forward alongside the schemes offered by the energy supply companies to save energy.
Posted in Campaigning, Consumers, Energy, Energy Bill Revolution, Money Matters, Spread the Warmth campaign
Tagged #EnergyBillRev, #energybills, #fuelpoverty, #spreadthewarmth, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, DECC, Department for Energy and Climate Change, energy, Energy Bill Revolution, Energy Bill Revolution campaign, Energy Company Obligation, energy consumption, energy prices, fuel poverty, Health and Wellbeing, home energy efficiency, money and benefits, money matters, older people, Pension Credit, poverty, spread the warmth, Spread the Warmth campaign, the green deal, warm homes discount
This blog was contributed by David Terrace, Energy Programme Manager, at Age UK.
One cannot escape from the scrutiny on fuel poverty this winter, and rightly so, it’s an epidemic. However, one element of fuel poverty that is often ignored is the plight of those in rural, off-mains gas areas. For Age UK, this is particularly important as there is twice the percentage of retired people in rural areas than urban, and there are around 1.5million older people living off the gas grid.
So what we are doing about? During the cold winter we highlighted the issues that are facing older, isolated people in rural areas. Age UK achieved this through considerable press coverage with articles appearing in the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph. This raised awareness of older people in terrible housing stock, paying a great deal more for their heating but not receiving the help that they need.
There was more to do than just talk about it, it needed tangible action. The spark was provided by the Department of Energy and Climate change announcing its Cheaper Energy Together fund in November. We knew we had to the opportunity to ‘show not tell’ on rural fuel poverty, albeit with a very short timescale (start in January, finish before Easter!) Continue reading
Posted in Communities and inclusion, Energy, Income, Spread the Warmth campaign
Tagged #energybills, #spreadthewarmth, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, Cheaper Energy Together, collective oil purchasing, Department of Energy and Climate, energy, fuel poverty, heating, isolation, living off the gas grid, older people, rural fuel poverty, rural living, Spread the Warmth campaign, winter, winter deaths
I am beginning to think that winter is never going to end. By now we should have mild March breezes, sunshine and showers – and daffodils. But instead we’re facing icy winds from the East and 10-foot snowdrifts.
But of course, that’s the British weather. With all our technology, we can just about predict it, but we certainly can’t control it.
At the end of a long cold winter, we are also facing steeply-rising energy prices. The Office for Budget Responsibility this week predicted a 7% rise in energy costs this year, and a 3% rise next year. Continue reading
Posted in Campaigning, Energy Bill Revolution, Spread the Warmth campaign
Tagged #EnergyBillRev, #energybills, #spreadthewarmth, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing society, Energy Bill Revolution, Energy Bill Revolution campaign, energy efficiency, energy prices, fuel poverty, heating, home energy efficiency, home insulation, keeping warm, older people, spread the warmth, Spread the Warmth campaign, winter