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Half of people in fuel poverty are in work


A report from right wing think tank Policy Exchange has revealed that half of those defined as being in fuel poverty in England are actually in employment.

The report shows that 1.1million households in England cannot afford to heat their homes to a comfortable level, despite being employed. Policy Exchange has now called for energy efficient subsidies to be targeted more effectively onto poorer households. They also believe that energy efficiency should be viewed as a ‘Top 40’ national infrastructure priority, which means it could utilise some of the government’s £100billion infrastructure budget over the next five years.

The report also showed that people living in the least energy efficient properties would have to spend as much as £1,700 extra a year to heat their home to a suitable temperature.

10% of all households in the UK are in fuel poverty. This has been made worse by rising energy bills, as consumer gas prices increased by 128% over the period 2003 to 2013. Households with children and single adults over the age of 60 are mostly likely to struggle to heat their home to a comfortable level.

The Government has said that the number of people in fuel poverty is falling, and that they are spending more than ever before on keeping people warm. It has already invested more than half a billion pounds in energy efficiency schemes, including £310m on the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The report's author, Richard Howard, said: "The facts paint a startling picture. There are over one million working households struggling to afford their energy bills, and living in under-heated homes.”

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