Sustainable warmth: protecting vulnerable households in England

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There are now 1.2 million fewer low-income households living in the least energy efficient homes – that is, those with Energy Performance Certificates in Band E, F or G – compared to 2010.

Today (11 February 2021), the government published its strategy, Sustainable warmth: protecting vulnerable households in England, helping to drive this down even further, reducing energy bills for hundreds of thousands of households.

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It sets out a plan to increase help for vulnerable energy consumers with fuel bills and green upgrades to their homes, that will help put as much as £500 back into the pockets of low-income families.

Measures in the strategy include offering more help with energy bills, by extending the £140 Warm Home Discount to an extra 750,000 vulnerable fuel poor homes, helping a total of 2.7 million households, and by tackling the energy efficiency of all fuel poor homes. This will be done by increasing the amount energy suppliers invest in energy efficiency measures for low-income households. The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) will now be extended until 2026, with its value boosted from £640 million to £1 billion a year.

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The new strategy also sets out a more meaningful measure of fuel poverty, following significant feedback from those in a public consultation that the current ‘high cost’ indicator of energy bills above the median cost needed modernising.

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