The Government has announced an emergency Winter Household Support Fund to be delivered via local authorities.
However, a spokesperson for the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented:
This panic response to negative headlines about rising levels of fuel poverty is a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed.
The fund has the potential to provide some short-term relief. But it is no replacement for a comprehensive investment and spending plan to end this winter’s fuel poverty crisis and improve the energy efficiency of our homes in the long-term.
Coalition members National Energy Action have called on the Government for comprehensive emergency provision to help fuel poor households to stay warm at home this winter, including:
- Providing additional funding towards the Warm Home Discount scheme this winter as an emergency provision to guard against significantly increased gas prices
- Supporting more households with the Winter Fuel Payment, especially for those eligible for the Cold Weather Payment in Northern Ireland
- Helping accelerate the repayment of utility debts across the UK by enhancing Fuel and Water Direct
- Continuing the Winter Grant Scheme through this winter
Additionally, through the Spending Review, it is proposed that the following longer-term actions to ensure that fuel poor households can be warm at home for years to come:
- Fully implement the Conservative Manifesto for the Home Upgrade Grant Scheme (HUG) and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF)
- Ensure the Shared Prosperity Fund (SPF) helps end cold homes across the UK
- Extend and strengthen the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit for low-income households.