Energy policy must not lose focus on fuel poverty, say churches

By staff writers
24 Dec 2012

The Free Churches have called on the Westminster government to protect the fuel poor and work towards the decarbonisation of the UK's energy network.

The call came as the Energy Bill was debated in the House of Commons at Westminster on 19 December 2012.

The bill aims to reduce the UK’s climate impact. The churches' briefing stresses that it is important that demand reduction measures, particularly those of most relevance to people on low incomes, are central to both the Energy Bill and the government’s overall energy strategy.

The joint briefing for MPs is entitled Decarbonising our power sector by 2030: Delivering a just Energy Bill, has been issued the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Church of England, Methodist, the United Reformed Church and the Quakers in Britain.

It argues that to achieve its aims there need to be two main changes to the government's approach, says the Free churches' Joint Public Issues Team (JPIT).

First, a target of 50gCO2/kWh across the power sector by 2030 in line with the Committee on Climate Change report.

Second, an energy efficiency incentives mechanism to reduce demand and help those on low incomes currently in fuel poverty.

The briefing declares: “With any new legislation our churches are concerned about the impact on the most vulnerable in society and on those with low incomes. The Department of Energy and Climate Change have estimated that fuel poverty will have affected approximately 3.9 million people in 2012... It is important that demand reduction measures, and particularly those of most relevance to people on low incomes, are central to the Energy Bill and the government's overall energy strategy.”

* Read the full briefing here (*.PDF Adobe Acrobat document): http://www.churchcare.co.uk/images/Decarbonising_our_power_sector.pdf

[Ekk/3]

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