Government urged to help councils tackle fuel poverty

The government has been urged to implement an action plan to help local authorities take action on fuel poverty.

The action plan, developed by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, includes legislation to prevent energy firms from charging more than the lowest tariff for those on pre-payment meters and the introduction of a Windfall Tax on fossil fuel firms’ profits.

In addition to the central government action plan, the group has also encouraged candidates standing for election to local authorities across England on 5 May to take action to end fuel poverty.

In a pledge, co-ordinated by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, councillors and council candidates can pledge their support for ending fuel poverty. The pledge commits candidates to campaign for a range of measures – all of which can be implemented by local authorities – that will help end fuel poverty.

William Baker, from Solutions to Tackle Energy Poverty (STEP), said: “The single largest rise in fuel bills for over 30 years will lead many people in fuel poverty to turn to their local councils for help. Councils should do everything in their powers to cushion the shock, whether that is installing improved heating and insulation, providing financial support or enforcing private rental regulations.

“However, the government must provide councils with the resources to meet the envisaged rise in demand for council services, as well as take action to correct its own woefully inadequate response to the fuel price crisis.”

Council candidates can sign up to the pledge online: https://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/end-fuel-poverty-councillor-pledge/

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