Wales Audit Office: Fuel poverty falls, but government targets missed

(Title Image: Wales Audit Office)

A report from the Wales Audit Office (pdf) revealed that the number of households in fuel poverty has almost halved in the last decade, but this still meant more than 150,000 households (around 12% of all households in Wales) were struggling with energy bills.

“Living in a cold, damp home impacts on people’s mental and physical well-being and dealing with the consequences of fuel poverty increases other public spending, for example in the NHS. So it is good to see that Welsh Government investment has helped to improve the energy efficiency of people’s homes and seems to be part of the story of reducing fuel poverty rates. But, given it has not met its targets to eradicate fuel poverty, there are lessons for the Welsh Government to learn as it considers its future ambitions and role.”
– Auditor General, Adrian Crompton

The Welsh Government set a target to eliminate fuel poverty by 2018 and has spent £249million to reduce fuel poverty, primarily through home energy efficiency projects.

The report suggests a tension between policies to reduce domestic carbon emissions and allowing poor households to increase their energy use to prevent living in a cold home.