Welsh government told to ‘act with urgency’ over fuel poverty

“Too many people are having to make the difficult choice between heating, eating, and paying rent.”

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The Welsh government has been urged to “act with urgency” as new stats show 155,000 households in Wales remain in fuel poverty.

This, despite the Welsh government setting the target in 2010 of eradicating fuel poverty in all households by 2018.

“Too many people are having to make the difficult choice between heating, eating, and paying rent – in any contemporary nation this is unacceptable,” said CIH Cymru director Matt Dicks.

“We have an opportunity with the drive to decarbonise both new and existing homes to see huge changes in how homes are heated and decreasing what that costs annually to households – but these changes will take time.

“In the interim, the Welsh government must act with urgency to help those most in need and provide certainty to landlords across social housing and the private-rented sector on funding available to invest to improve the efficiency of existing homes at pace,” he said.

A household is regarded as being in fuel poverty if it is unable to keep a warm home at a reasonable cost.

In Wales, this is measured as any household that would have to spend more than 10% of their income on maintaining a satisfactory heating regime.

Any household having to spend more than 20% is defined as being in severe fuel poverty.

Vulnerable households are defined as those with a person aged 60 years or over, a child or young person under the age of 16 years, and/or a person who is disabled or has a long-term limiting condition.

The stats released by the Welsh government show that in Wales in 2018:

  • 155,000 households were living in fuel poverty – equivalent to 12% of all households in Wales
  • Households living in the private-rented sector were more likely to be fuel poor, with 20% of these households living in fuel poverty
  • 50% of single person households without children were living in fuel poverty
  • Households living in older properties are more likely to be fuel poor – 20% of households living in pre-1919 dwellings were fuel poor
  • 21% of households living in properties with uninsulated solid walls were fuel poor and 39% of people living in properties that do not have central heating were fuel poor
  • 43% of households living in properties with poorer energy efficiency (EPC Bands F and G) were fuel poor compared to 5% of households living in properties in bands B to C

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