Andrew has pledged his support to the Energy Bill Revolution campaign for warm homes and lower fuel bills. Our homes are the least energy efficient in Europe and the poorest in our society are the hardest-hit by the resulting fuel poverty. On average, 25,000 people die in cold homes every year.
Andrew said, "When the Government's own figures show more families in fuel poverty than at any time for a decade and The Children Society says more than half of children in poverty cannot get the Government's Warm Home Discount to stay warm, we've got to take practical action to push down fuel bills and end fuel poverty."
Making our homes more energy efficient is a permanent solution to high energy bills and fuel poverty. Andrew is calling for carbon taxes already collected from our bills to be used to make 2 million low income homes energy efficient by 2020 and all low income homes energy efficient by 2025.
Unfortunately, the Government's recognition that making homes more fuel efficient permanently is the way to end fuel poverty is not matched with action. The Government says it will only improve homes 'where reasonably practicable'. The result has been meaningless fuel poverty targets at a time when we need the target to be met for all low income households with very few exceptions. The Government also proposes to meet the target by 2030, not 2025 as the campaign demands.
The Government's failings has pushed Oxford City Council to enact energy efficiency measures in its buildings and sheltered housing blocks. Three of the City Council's now have solar panels generating own clean, efficient electricity. A 'Warming Barton' pilot project that aims to create warmer homes in the city's most deprived area has now received extra funding to add 100 households.
With vulnerable people struggling to pay their bills, Andrew looks forward to a government that helps people on low-incomes to support themselves in warmer homes.