9th September 2014, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament
Members of Parliament joined over 80 stakeholders at the launch of our ‘Ending cold homes: Affordable warmth’ manifesto. Our manifesto calls on the current and future governments to dramatically improve action to end fuel poverty and thereby improve people’s health and quality of life, reduce the cost of living, create jobs and negate carbon emissions.
Millions of people cannot afford to heat and power their homes and millions are suffering ill-health, stress and anxiety due to unaffordable fuel bills. Members of the EFPC believe that everybody has the right to a warm, dry home that they can afford to heat and power.
The Affordable Warmth Manifesto calls for:
- Improvements to the homes of all low-income households to EPC C by 2025: Homes of all low-income households to meet standards close to those of homes built today (at least Energy Performance Certificate C)
- Energy efficiency to be an infrastructure priority: Make energy efficiency of our homes a central priority for investment in the country’s infrastructure and secure long term funding for this.
- A cross-departmental Fuel Poverty Strategy: Implement a strategy to end fuel poverty that sets targets for all relevant government departments and which works alongside policies on social well-being, health inequalities, housing affordability, climate change and poverty.
- Delivery of home improvements and a greater role for health and social workers: Use trusted agencies and organisations, such as local authorities, to improve homes and encourage health workers and social workers to refer people for home improvements to tackle cold-related ill-health.
- A better deal for low-income energy consumers and fuel bill rebates: A requirement placed on fuel companies to provide a better deal to those on low incomes, and rebates on fuel bills to all low-income consumers, with higher rebates for those in homes that are difficult to heat.
- Employment and income policies that allow people to afford essential services: Make sure employment and income policies – benefits, tax credits, state pensions, minimum wage – provide an income sufficient to meet current costs of living and reduce the proportion of household budgets required for essential goods and services, including energy.
Hosted by the Chair of the Coalition Jenny Holland, a panel of Coalition members; Ed Matthew from Energy Bill Revolution, Sophie Neuburg from Friends of the Earth, Mervyn Kohler from AgeUK and Peter Smith from National Energy Action, set out our 6 pledges to end the misery of cold homes. Sophie Neuburg welcomed the strong targets set out in the manifesto and Ed Matthew said that the economic return from investing in energy efficient infrastructure is equal to anything else the Government could invest in. Peter Smith highlighted the need for a cross-departmental fuel poverty strategy and Mervyn Kohler argued for giving resources to local authority and health workers to take action to address the health implications of cold homes.
In response to the 6 pledges in the manifesto, a cross-party panel; Jonathan Reynolds MP, the Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change; Stephen Lloyd MP, the Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey; and David Amess MP who introduced the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act in 2000 – gave us their support. Jonathan Reynolds promised to make fuel poverty a prominent feature of the Labour manifesto and committed to a major overhaul of ECO. Stephen Lloyd promised to make sure the six asks are reflected in the Liberal Democrat’s manifesto. David Amess promised to take the manifesto to Number 10 and called on everybody to make fuel poverty a major issue during The General Election campaign.
We very much hope that the political parties will support our manifesto and work together to tackle fuel poverty. We are keen for new members to join the coalition. Please support the EFPC in our campaign to end cold homes. If you want to pledge your support please sign up on our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Please click here to view our manifesto.