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Gov't urged to take control on fuel poverty

Central heating controls are being overlooked as a simple way to combat fuel poverty according to the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE).

In response to yesterday’s report issued by the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG) CIPHE chief executive Blane Judd urged the government to encourage the use of controls as a proven, cost effective way to reduce energy consumption.

He said: “The report from the FPAG makes depressing reading, but what people don’t realise is that there is a simple, low cost solution staring them in the face.

“Heating and hot water accounts for over 80 per cent of the energy used in homes, yet 80 per cent of homes in the UK do not have basic heating controls.

“It’s time the government actively encouraged local authorities and other providers of social housing to retrofit controls. By doing this not only will fuel poverty decrease but there will be measurable environmental savings.”

The FPAG report said the Government had to take radical action to stop m
ore households being pushed into fuel poverty.

The report said fuel poverty levels were now more than three times the rate of five years ago and existing measures were inadequate to deal with the scale of the problem.

Chairman Derek Lickorish said: 'Energy prices are going to become even more of an issue as the cost of tackling carbon emissions grows, unemployment rises and the energy market remains volatile.

'The measures in place to deal with fuel poverty now are simply inadequate to tackle the rise that this cocktail of issues could create.

'Unless fuel poverty is tackled head on, many hundreds of thousands more vulnerable pensioners, families and disabled people will struggle to afford their energy bills.

'A thorough strategy, with decisive action on social tariffs and energy efficiency, is needed from the Government to help lift the poorest households out of fuel poverty.'