Monday, 15 March 2010

Energy efficiency 'best way to beat fuel poverty'

Published Date: 15 March 2010
A DRIVE to increase energy efficiency in UK homes is the best way to solve long-term fuel poverty, according to a study to be released today.
The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) report said fuel poverty increased over the past five years, despite government targets to eradicate the problem by 2016.Current moves to tackle fuel poverty were "out of date", with a review of the strategy and the setting up of an independent fuel poverty commission required as part of a longer term solution, it said.The IPPR said the government's Home Energy Management Strategy, published last week, did not go far enough to improve the energy efficiency of homes or give enough consideration to the issue of fuel poverty.While short-term measures were needed to help the poorest pay for their heating during the cold snap, longer-term measures focusing on fuel efficiency were a more sustainable and cost-effective way of tackling fuel poverty, it said.The report also calls for greater use of technology including smart meters, micro-generation technologies and community-scale heating, and a review of how fuel poverty programmes are paid for.IPPR co-director Carey Oppenheim said: "We need to focus on making UK homes more green and more fuel efficient so it is more affordable to heat homes."