Fuel poverty is a scourge on our communities. It harms the physical and psychological health, welfare and quality of life of our residents.
Local authorities can play an important role in tackling fuel poverty through, for example, our new public health responsibilities, our strategic role in improving housing and our concern to encourage residents to contribute to the local economy and community.
We commit our council to:
- Make sure we understand the extent of fuel poverty in our area, its impact on health, housing and quality of life, and to take action to address it
- Make sure that the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, agreed between councils and local NHS organisations, informs strategies to tackle fuel poverty
- Work with partners such as Health and Wellbeing Boards and advice services to develop effective referral systems to reduce fuel poverty and cold-related ill health
- Develop a strategic approach to improve energy efficiency in all housing and fulfil its potential to create jobs and prosperity in our local communities
- Work with energy companies and related organisations to help make sure the Green Deal, Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and other energy efficiency programmes are delivered effectively in our area
- Administer the benefits we are responsible for efficiency and fairly, and help make sure eligible households receive the benefits to which they are entitled
- Explore ways of reducing fuel poverty that involve the whole community, including community groups and town and parish councils
We want the government to:
- Help us meet our ambitions to eliminate fuel poverty in our area
- Make sure Public Health Directors can effectively deliver on their responsibility for meeting the public health outcome on fuel poverty
- Work with the Local Government Association (LGA) to support local authorities provide peer-to-peer support and sign up to locally appropriate actions and targets
- Help disseminate information and guidance on legislation, policy initiatives and best practice
- Help compile standardised housing stock data on all housing in the country
- Require Green Deal and ECO providers to inform local authorities of works taking place in their area, to enable authorities to report on referrals and outcomes
- Make sure we have the resources to make an effective contribution towards meeting national targets to improve fuel poor homes by 2030
This commitment was written by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition (EFPC) and local authority officers.