“the number of fuel poor older households in the UK could reach over 1.1 million by the spring.”
Devon has more community energy organisations than any other county in the UK
It’s going to be a very cold winter:
This week, the independent-minded MP for Newton Abbot voted in favour of a motion on cutting VAT on fuel bills:
“I believe removing VAT is the right thing to do and I won’t apologise for supporting measures that would help my hard-working constituents at a time when the cost of living is rising.”
Devon’s Tory ‘rebel’ MP Anne Marie Morris has hit back after having the Conservative whip removed again, this time after she voted for Labour’s opposition day motion proposing removing VAT on household energy bills.
A Treasury minister told parliament on Tuesday that the government “recognises the pressure” that the public was facing on their household finances and energy bills and would “continue to look closely at all the options that exist”
Meanwhile, as reported in the Herald, Age UK have launched a campaign to help older people tackle fuel poverty over the winter:
“The Cost Of The Cold” campaign aims to help older households struggling with rising fuel, energy and heating prices because of the Covid pandemic. The charity issues warning that the number of fuel poor older households could reach over 1.1 million by the spring unless the Government takes urgent action.
There are various actions the government could take:
As the situation is pretty bad, according to the latest Excess Winter Mortality report:
New figures have revealed there were 400 excess winter deaths in Devon between 2019 and 2020, excluding those from Covid-19, as calls for the UK government to tackle the cold home crisis intensify.
The Energy Infrastructure Group looks at the situation in East Devon in a little more detail:
There is some immediate practical advice out there in the meantime.
From Age UK:
From an East Devon endeavour:
And from the District Council:
There are longer-term considerations for Devon too.
A report from April 2021 from the Devon Community Foundation looks at community energy:
According to a report produced by Devon County Council, Devon has an impressive 23 community energy organisations, more than any other county in the UK (most based in and around Plymouth or Exeter), and double the number in 2012. Half of these are registered as some form of social enterprise, established to invest their profits for public good, or for the benefit of members, rather than as charities. Although reductions in feed-in tariffs have limited the extent of these income-generation strands, four of Devon’s community energy organisations have community benefit funds, financed through their renewable energy schemes, which are predicted to invest over a million pounds into Devon communities in the period to 2030.
The Devon Climate Emergency group is also championing community energy:
Due to issues over the reductions in feed-in-tariffs, the Sid Valley lost its community energy set-up:
Finally, an infographic: