Make this the last cold winter for the fuel poor


Party of Wales calls for sensible steps to tackle fuel poverty

As the number of Welsh families who are struggling to pay home heating bills continues to increase, the Party of Wales has outlined why the Welsh Government should adopt more ambitious targets for making energy efficiency modifications to Welsh homes to help Wales’ poorest families and offer the economy the boost it desperately needs.

Plaid Cymru’s Communities spokesperson Rhodri Glyn Thomas has outlined figures which show that an estimated 320,000 Welsh households are spending more than 10% of their incomes on heating their homes (and are therefore in fuel poverty), while the government’s schemes to tackle fuel poverty have a reach of less than 5% of this figure.

The Welsh Government’s Arbed scheme aims to help 5,000 households and Nest will reach less than 10,000.

Mr Thomas has called for the Welsh Government to draw together all available resources from the public, private and third sector to extend the reach of these schemes and to get to grips with the problem.

The Party of Wales Communities spokesperson Rhodri Glyn Thomas said:

“It can’t be right that this winter more than a quarter of Welsh households will struggle to afford to heat their homes. Figures show that almost half Welsh parents are considering cutting back on food or essentials this winter in order to pay their energy bills. Clearly, the Welsh Government needs to be doing more.

“The Party of Wales have made it clear that we want to adopt a more ambitious approach to this problem. Retrofitting homes with energy efficient features can be an extremely effective means of bringing down the home’s energy bills and cutting carbon emmissions, while it also provides a significant capital investment which will deliver a much-needed boost to the economy. This is the kind of ambitious approach that a Party of Wales government would adopt.

“A Party of Wales government would make many more homes eligible for the existing upgrading schemes and would cut VAT to 5% for retrofitting homes with energy efficient features. In the longer term we would aim to retrofit all Welsh homes with these energy efficiency measures. This is the kind of action that we would take to make this the last cold winter for Wales’ fuel poor.”