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Charities demand an end to fuel poverty

Friends of the Earth and Help the Aged are taking the Government to court for not doing enough to meet its legal obligation to eradicate fuel poverty.


The two charities announced that they will be filing a judicial review at the high court earlier this week and are demanding that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) reveal how it intends to meet its future fuel poverty targets.


The two charities are also demanding that Defra develop a far more effective and comprehensive programme of domestic energy efficiency, in order to simultaneously end the suffering endured by 2.3 million vulnerable households in England and to tackle climate change.


Commenting to the decision to launch a joint judicial review, Mervyn Kohler, special adviser for the Help the Aged, said: “The Warm Front (WF) programme that is currently in place is not working.


“We are demanding that we are given a decent programme to ensure that the UK reaches its fuel poverty target. WF offers nothing for people who are in fuel poverty and who are off the mains gas pipeline.


“Many people who are fuel poor are living in houses which have filled walls, and as a result the cavity wall insulation measure is not applicable. We also have to ask whether Defra is offering enough renewal energy measures through the Warm Front scheme to reduce fuel poverty. Currently the answer this is no.”


According to the charities, the Government is legally bound to eradicate fuel poverty for vulnerable households by 2010 and for all households by 2016. However, nearly 3 million households in England are still struggling to adequately heat their homes.