On Fuel Poverty Awareness Day London Assembly Labour Group Environment spokesperson Murad Qureshi is calling on energy companies to stop neglecting Londoners. Research by the Energy Savings Trust shows energy companies have insulated only half the number of homes in London as elsewhere in the UK. More than 560,000 London households are estimated to be in fuel poverty and the capital has a higher proportion of fuel poor households than neighbouring regions.
Since April 2008 energy companies have been required to deliver home insulation measures to households as part of the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target. However, Energy Savings Trust figures show that while 14.7% of homes nationally have received measures, the number for London is only 7.2%. The figures for the following boroughs are:
- Westminster – 2.1%
- Kensington & Chelsea – 0.9%
- Kingston-Upon-Thames – 7.7%
- Richmond-Upon-Thames – 4.6%
- Hounslow – 5.9%
The figures are bad news for the Boris Johnson, who has himself failed to meet his own target to retrofit 200,000 homes by 2012, delivering only 67,000. From April the Mayor will no longer be directly funding home retrofit measures and will instead rely on energy companies to deliver such measures.
As a result of the gap between the end of the existing retrofitting schemes and the new schemes becoming fully functional, the Insulation Industry Forum predicted that 625 jobs will be lost in London during 2013.
Labour Londonwide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi said:
“With energy prices rising by up to 11 per cent this winter, fuel poverty is becoming an even bigger problem in London. But, with only half the number of homes receiving insulation measures in London compared to elsewhere in the UK, it is not just on pricing that Londoners are getting a raw deal from energy companies.
“Given that mayoral investment in home insulation will end soon and that the energy companies have completely failed to help Londoners save money and keep warm, I worry that we will continue to see more Londoners having to choose between heating, eating and paying the rent.
“On Fuel Poverty Awareness Day I encourage all Londoners who are struggling to heat their homes to ensure they are getting all the help available. It should not be a choice between food and fuel. It is essential that energy companies do all they can to help Londoners reduce their fuel consumption and live in more energy efficient homes. Energy companies are not doing enough to deliver on their responsibilities and Londoners are being left out in the cold.”
- Murad Qureshi is a Londonwide Assembly Member and Labour Group spokesperson on environment and health issues.
- Energy Saving Trust CERT Summary Report can be found here http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Publications2/Housing-professionals/HEED-PDFs/HEED-publications-for-UK/CERT-reports-Q16/CERT-Summary-Report-Q16-by-Local-Authority
- The London Assembly Health and Public Services Committee’s Fuel Poverty report can be found here http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Fuel%20poverty%20-%20Final%20report.pdf