Eradication of Fuel Poverty will Take Over 30 Years

New research by AgilityEco estimates that the Government’s statutory fuel poverty target will take until 2065 to achieve without further investment in energy efficiency – 35 years later than planned.

The Government will fail in meeting its legally binding target to ensure as many fuel poor households as reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of band C by 2030, new research by AgilityEco warns.

Progress towards meeting the statutory target has historically been slow with AgilityEco previously indicating that a further £18 billion of investment would be needed to bring 3.2 million homes in England out of fuel poverty.

New findings now estimate that the funding gap will be even greater because of rising energy prices, with a further increase in the Government’s energy price cap this October expected to raise the average annual energy bill to £2,800.

This would bring the total number of fuel poor homes to 3.5 million. Though the energy price cap is expected to fall from April 2023, it is likely that the number of fuel-poor homes will remain the same.

Whilst manifesto-promised investment in energy efficiency would take around 200,000 homes out of fuel poverty in 2024, and 100,000 in 2025, continuing at this rate means it would take more than 40 years to bring every home up to the required standard - far below what is required to ensure the Government’s fuel poverty and net zero targets are met.

Joint CEO, Gearóid Lane, said:

"It is imperative that further policy and funding is focused on improving the energy efficiency of fuel poor homes to support the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in our society. 

“Investment in energy efficiency is the only truly sustainable solution to the energy bill crisis and to achieving low carbon homes.”

AgilityEco is calling on the Government to:

  • Swiftly implement existing promises and proposals on fuel poverty funding, such as the new ECO4 programme and the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard for privately rented homes.
  • Extend these schemes to 2030 to provide longer-term certainty for the organisations working in this area, giving them certainty to invest in additional staff and equipment.
  • Expand the funding available and ensure it is focused on improving the efficiency of fuel poor homes.

Notes to editors:

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To explore the findings in more detail, click here.