The proportion of households in Wales estimated to be living in fuel poverty has decreased by 6 percentage points in 4 years, according to a report published today.
The report by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) estimated fuel poverty levels across all Welsh households have decreased from 29% in 2012 to a projected 23% in 2016.
Meanwhile, over the same period the number of vulnerable households in fuel poverty is projected to have decreased by 7 percentage points and the percentage of households considered to be in severe fuel poverty has decreased from 5% to 3%.
The BRE report suggests the decrease is due to a combination of rising household incomes, a reduction in household energy consumption due to energy efficiency improvements, and decreasing gas and oil prices.
The report finds the impact of energy efficiency measures has been to reduce the projected levels of fuel poverty in all households by approximately 80,000 households and to have reduced the projected levels of fuel poverty in vulnerable households by approximately 73,000 households.
The Welsh Government Warm Homes programme is designed to promote energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty. The Welsh Government is investing £26 million into the programme this year alone and since its inception in 2011, Warm Homes has delivered improvements to over 38,000 homes across Wales.
The Warm Homes programme provides support through Nest, a demand-led fuel poverty scheme for individual households, and Arbed, which supports area-based energy efficiency schemes in deprived communities.
Welcoming today’s publication, Lesley Griffiths said:
“The findings of this report by the Building Research Establishment make for extremely encouraging reading. They reveal an estimated 6 percentage points reduction in the number of Welsh households in fuel poverty, in four years.
“Tackling the effects of fuel poverty is a key objective of this government. That is why we are so committed to investing tens of millions of pounds in programmes such as Warm Homes which includes the Nest and Arbed schemes.
“Tackling fuel poverty makes sense on so many levels. Not only does it directly improve the lives of people on low incomes but it also helps us to reduce carbon emissions and stimulate significant growth in the economy – a true sustainable development approach”.