Thursday, 18 August 2016

Households in fuel poverty could miss out on vital support

Leading energy efficiency and fuel poverty organisations have identified that the Governments estimated costs of the Energy Company Obligation Extension could be significantly overstated meaning thousands of fuel poor households will miss out on much needed support.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently conducted a consultation on the £640m, one year extension of the Energy Company Obligation from April 2017 to the end of March 2018.  The consultation  included an impact assessment which sets out the assumed costs of delivering the programme and the target for the programme including the number of energy efficiency measures to be provided to householders based on these assumed costs.

The NIA working in conjunction with a number of other leading energy efficiency and fuel poverty organisations has identified that the costs in the impact assessment could be significantly overestimated possibly by more than £200m.  This is of great concern given that 70% of the funding support will be directed at helping fuel poor households and if this is not corrected will result in fuel poor households receiving allot less support than they could otherwise.

Neil Marshall CEO of NIA commented: “We are extremely concerned that the costs of delivery have been overstated and we along with other organisations have provided information and evidence to the Department for BEIS as to where we believe the overestimate of costs has arisen.  We will be working with Government officials and others including fuel poverty organisations over the coming months before final decisions are made in reviewing these costs.  If our calculations are verified and accepted, Government will have the opportunity to revise the costs and set a target around 35% higher than the current proposal meaning thousands more fuel poor households could benefit."