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Towards a Fuel Poverty Strategy – Insights from the North West

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The Government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy is due out for consultation very shortly. As part of the discussion at the Carbon Action Network Training Day in Manchester recently, local authorities, housing providers, energy advisors and others discussed the potential impact of the new strategy, based on the approach laid out in DECC’s Framework for Future Action on Fuel Poverty. You can read a full write-up of discussions here.

Below, we have summarised a few of the key points raised:

  •  The Low Income High Costs definition is not yet in use at a local level, and many delivery organisations are struggling to explain it to senior decision makers and to translate it into strategies for targeting at a local level
  • The reduction in the number of fuel poor households brought about by the change of definition means that fuel poverty might be seen as less of an issue in some places
  • The various obligations, incentives, rebates and policies are complex to navigate; changes to them, announced in a hurry, have a damaging effect on people’s ability to deliver fuel poverty interventions locally
  • There are some great examples of data sharing, wider engagement (eg, with CCGs), partnerships and outreach, but it’s still hard for organisations to find out what others are doing and to translate that work into their own organisation.

Many of the discussion points from the Manchester Conference apply equally to local authorities, housing providers and others in London. We’d be keen to hear from you about how your organisation will be responding, particularly to the change in definition and how you might target fuel poverty activities differently in future. Get in touch: @LDNFuelPoverty or londonfuelpovertyhub@se-2.co.uk.

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