Authorities urged to tackle fuel poor areas


A report from the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University suggests local authorities should ‘draw a red line on a map’ around their area where fuel poverty is worst. Homes within these areas would then be treated to bring them up to a high energy efficiency rating.

The success of such a scheme would be dependent on the government introducing mandatory efficiency standards for all homes, which should encourage owners to take advantage of the LCZ to improve their properties.

The report notes that taking this street-by-street approach would allow work to be done more effectively, reducing costs, and discounts on work could also be available through the government’s green deal scheme and the energy company obligation.

The recommendation is made as part of a comprehensive report into how emissions from UK buildings could be cut to zero by 2050. Achieving zero outlines a series of measures and targets designed to cut energy use in buildings so electricity consumption is halved by 2050, and supplied solely from renewable sources.

Report author Dr Brenda Boardman, emeritus fellow of the Environmental Change Institute, said: ‘We already spend around £35 billion a year on improving and maintaining our buildings. We need to refocus nearly half of this, around 40 per cent, into energy efficiency.’