VII FUEL POVERTY
161. As we have stated, promotion of policies to
increase security of energy supply may have the effect of raising
prices. This would bear most heavily on the poorest sectors of
society. In this context, we note in particular that a very significant
factor in the recent reduction in the number of those affected
by fuel poverty
has been the decrease in fuel prices.
The Government is committed to reducing the number further.
162. We heard evidence on fuel poverty and what could
be done to alleviate it, and we had intended to comment on this
at some length in this Report. However, while we were taking evidence,
the Government published its new fuel poverty strategy, and we
decided that it would be better to treat this subject separately
from this inquiry. Accordingly, we intend to hold an inquiry into
fuel poverty later this year.
340 Defined as those having to spend more than 10%
of their income to achieve a reasonable degree of warmth in their
Q 648 (Energywatch) and Appendix 6 (National Energy Action).
The reduction in the number of those in fuel poverty has been
from about 6.5 million people in 1996 to about 4 million in 2000. Back