Candidates standing for election to local authorities across England have been urged to pledge their support for action to end fuel poverty.
Local authorities have a role to play in ending fuel poverty through enforcement of property standards, improving the energy efficiency of Council and housing association stock as well as providing advice to those in fuel poverty.
In a pledge, co-ordinated by the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, councillors and council candidates can pledge their support for ending fuel poverty via an online form available at http://www.endfuelpoverty.org.uk/end-fuel-poverty-councillor-pledge/.
Some Councils, such as the London Borough of Camden and Oxford City Council are already members of the Coalition while others, such as Brighton & Hove and Swindon have passed or debated motions about ending fuel poverty.
The pledge comes as the Government announced the scrapping of a pioneering Green Homes Grant scheme. commits candidates to campaign for a range of measures that will help end fuel poverty.
After just six months delivering home energy saving measures, the Green Homes Grant (GHG) voucher scheme closed its doors to new applications on 31 March at 5pm.
William Baker, a representative from Solutions to Tackle Energy Poverty (STEP) and member of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, commented:
England is fast under threat of becoming the coldest part of the UK to live for those most at risk of fuel poverty.
Cutting off the Green Homes Grant programme in its prime is a disaster for people banking on this to improve the energy efficiency of their homes and lift them out of fuel poverty.
It is a shame that the Westminster government has not sought to learn from the positive experiences of delivering energy efficiency programmes in other parts of the UK.
The latest data shows that following its launch in September there has been significant interest in the scheme by members of the public with 82,800 household applications associated to 123,500 vouchers to the end of February 2021.