The Time for Action on Fuel Poverty is Now
Date: 03 March 2011
Reference: SD 06/10/11
This is the message from the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Social Development at a seminar organised by National Energy Action today.
Committee Chair, Simon Hamilton MLA said: “Tackling fuel poverty has been, and should continue to be, a key target of the Department for Social Development. Many people think that, following the budget cuts, we won’t have as much money as we would like to tackle fuel poverty. This does not mean that we cannot look at ways to help the most vulnerable who particularly need our help.
“It is therefore important that we all look at new ways to tackle this serious issue. The Department for Social Development has recently consulted on a revised Fuel Poverty Strategy. However, I believe it is also important that we look to other jurisdictions and learn from their experiences. This will help us ensure that we develop the right solutions for tackling fuel poverty. Examples of this would be boiler replacement schemes and enhanced insulation for social housing.”
The seminar was organised by National Energy Action, and saw experienced fuel poverty professionals exchange ideas and make recommendations on the Department’s new strategy for tackling fuel poverty. Attendees included contributors from across the UK who spoke on innovative ways to focus efforts on the particularly vulnerable fuel-poor.
Mr Hamilton continued: “This seminar comes at an important point in our plans for tackling fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. The Department for Social Development must listen carefully to the views of organisations and groups working to support those in fuel poverty. The Committee looks forward to reviewing the Department’s proposals for dealing with the scourge of fuel poverty.”