Bury's plans to improve energy efficiency and fuel poverty in the borough
What is fuel poverty?
A household is suffering from fuel poverty if:
they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level)
were they to spend that amount they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.
Using this new definition the Department of Energy and Climate Change reported in August 2013 that there are 8047 households in Bury in Fuel Poverty (10.1%).There are a number of contributory factors that can result in families falling into fuel poverty, for example, high energy prices, low incomes and, or debt and the poor energy efficiency of homes.
What is Bury going to do about fuel poverty?
Bury had an Affordable Warmth Strategy and Action Plan for Bury which expired in March 2016 and with the launch the new Fuel Poverty Strategy for England being published in March 2015, we decided to review these and create a new Fuel Poverty Action Plan for Bury to run from April 2016.
The Objectives of the Action Plan are:
Improve Energy Efficiency Standards in Housing
Enabling People to Afford to Heat their Home
Improved Health & Wellbeing and Increased Comfort
Improved Evidence Base, Understanding & Improved Targeting
The action plan will be a 'working' document and therefore updated regularly with actions amended following changes in national priorities and with local services adapting to change.
The council have also set up an Affordable Warmth Partnership with Age UK, Citizens Advice Bureau Bury, NHS Bury (Bury Primary Care Trust / PCT) and Six Town Housing; who will work together to deliver the objectives set out in the action plan.
Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA)
The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 ('HECA') requires all 326 local authorities in England to submit reports to the Secretary of State demonstrating what energy conservation measures they have adopted to improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation within that Local Authority area. This covers measures to improve properties in the owner-occupier, private rented sector, and social rented sector. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) uses data submitted through HECA returns to inform policy thinking on energy efficiency, and to build an ongoing picture of local and national energy efficiency policy delivery.