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Urgent action needed to help the millions in fuel poverty

22 July 2014

Citizens Advice has urged the government to have ‘greater ambition’ in its targets for tackling fuel poverty and highlighted how energy companies need to deliver their obligations to help fuel poor households.

Today the Government has proposed that there will be a legal obligation for as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable to be raised to a Band C energy efficiency rating by 2030.

Gillian Guy, Chief Executive, Citizens Advice said:

“Urgent action is needed for millions of households across the country to eradicate fuel poverty. The Government is right to put a marker down to make homes warmer. Citizens Advice wants to see greater ambition to improve properties more quickly so that people can afford to heat their homes.

“The warm weather can be a distraction from the reality that some people struggle to afford soaring energy costs and those in fuel poor homes have seen bills rise continuously despite claims that fuel poverty is falling. Many are suffering with ill health in freezing cold homes and are in desperate need of help to survive harsh winters.

“Extending the energy company obligation will help but with overall reductions it is critical that it is focused wholly on those who need it most. Energy companies must to do all they can to help vulnerable customers with support to reduce their bills and help with efficiency savings. Improvements to housing will allow people to take control of their bills, improve health and reduce the amount people spend on energy costs.”  

In order to eradicate fuel poverty Citizens Advice wants Government to:

  • Set a minimum standard of C on the Energy Performance Certificate rating scale for 2025.
  • Target the whole of the Energy Company Obligation at the fuel poor and set up new programmes to help low income households not reached by ECO.
  • Locally led fuel poverty programmes which take responsibility away from suppliers for delivering these schemes.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit You can also get advice online at
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.