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
This blog was contributed by Ed Matthew, Director of the Energy Bill Revolution.
The recent prediction from the energy regulator OFGEM that energy bills are likely to rise as the UK becomes more dependent on gas is more bad news for British households facing ever mounting financial pressure.
The average dual fuel energy bill now costs a household over £1,400 each year. As the energy bills bite, fuel poverty is now rocketing out of control, affecting 1 in 4 families in the UK. A fuel poverty crisis is unfolding before our eyes.
Behind these figures lies a real human tragedy. Thousands of older people die from the cold every year and in extreme cases people are left with the stark choice of whether to feed their family or heat their home. Many of those most affected are the most vulnerable, older people, the disabled and young children.
The reaction of the Government to this crisis is lamentable. Despite their protestations that they are doing all they can to help the figures speak for themselves. They have cut spending on the fuel poor by 26% and slashed funding for energy efficiency measures for the fuel poor by 44%. This is despite the fact that experts recognise by far the best long term solution to fuel poverty is to super insulate the UK housing stock. The result is that fuel poverty is getting worse and by 2016 there could be up to 9 million households in fuel poverty. Continue reading
Posted in Consumers, Energy, Energy Bill Revolution, Income, Money Matters
Tagged #EnergyBillRev, #energybills, #fuelpoverty, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing society, energy, Energy Bill Revolution campaign, Energy Bill Revolution coalition, energy consumption, energy efficiency, energy prices, fuel poverty, Health, Health & wellbeing, home energy efficiency, home insulation, Money & benefits, money matters, older people, poverty, spread the warmth, Spread the Warmth campaign, winter, winter deaths
The avowed ambition of the Green Deal is to offer everyone the opportunity to improve the energy efficiency of their home at no up-front cost, so enabling them to make it warmer and cheaper to run. Given that a third of our general housing stock is occupied by older households, Age UK obviously supports any initiative which will improve the quality and energy efficiency of our homes. That is particularly important because with the introduction of the Green Deal, all the existing programmes which have operated in this field in the past, such as Warm Front and the insulation programme CERT run by the energy companies, are now closed.
The design of the Green Deal invites the householder to call the Energy Saving Advice Service (on 0300 123 1234) to find a Green Deal Provider – a private sector company accredited and monitored by the Government. This Provider will then arrange for an Assessor to visit, and identify the relevant steps which could be taken (such as insulation, new boiler, radiator valves etc). The recommended work must meet the ‘golden rule’ that the cost of getting this work done would reduce the household’s spending on energy by a greater amount – so saving the householder money. A Green Deal Plan will then be prepared for the householder to agree to, an authorised Installer would then arrive to do the work, and a repayment plan will be devised which will be added to (the now reduced) electricity bill for an agreed period. In effect, the loan is a debt on the energy meter, not on the householder, and gets passed on if the house is bought and sold. Continue reading
Posted in Campaigning, Consumers, Energy, Energy Bill Revolution, Money Matters, Spread the Warmth campaign
Tagged #spreadthewarmth, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing society, consumer, consumer issues, energy, Energy Bill Revolution, Energy Bill Revolution campaign, Energy Bill Revolution coalition, Energy Company Obligation, energy consumption, energy efficiency, Energy Saving Advice Service, fuel poor, fuel poverty, Green Deal, Green Deal Plan, Green Deal Provider, home insulation, money matters, older people, spread the warmth, Spread the Warmth campaign