Sunday, 27 April 2008

GOVERNMENT BACKS AWAY FROM FUEL POVERTY

KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Sunday 27th April 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 07747 036192
GOVERNMENT BACKS AWAY FROM DEALING WITH FUEL POVERTY
The main Government department responsible for Energy Policy, the new Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform has 24 units responsible for different areas of policy. None of them deal with energy efficiency, leaving the Government without effective policy in the area where the cheapest and quickest routes to reducing climate change are available(1). Worse still, this apparent turning away from energy efficiency fatally damages attempts to protect the poorest households in Kent from fuel poverty. Steve Dawe explains:
“The Government has made a general move away from energy efficiency. It is even trying to abandon the Home Energy Conservation Act of 1995, the result of a Green Party-initiated campaign. Since Kent residents were hit by a 15% general rise in energy bills in January and may expect a 25% rise in the summer according to some reports, fuel poverty is on the rise (2). Since about 800-900 people die of the cold each year in Kent (3), it is clear that energy efficiency in the poorest households is critical to saving lives and maintaining health. Improved insulation and better heating systems are also consistent with reducing greenhouse gases to cut the emissions which contribute to climate change.
“Since insulation is the cheapest way to reduce a households energy bills, and the cheapest way to improve the energy efficiency of businesses or schools or hospitals, the Government’s position is inexplicable. Public spending can deliver better services in Kent if energy efficiency is vigorously pursued. A 30% reduction in UK energy use is quite possible and reductions of 40-50% are attainable. But not, it appears, if this Government continues to neglect elementary energy efficiency.”
ENDS c281 words
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe, on 01732 355185 or 07747 036192. Contact address as above.

Notes:
1. Information supplied by the Association for the Conservation of Energy.
2. Fuel poverty exists when a household spends more than 10% of its income on energy bills.
3. And over 20,000 annually in the UK.

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