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DECC's 2011 Annual Report on Fuel Poverty stated that in 2009 5.5 million UK households (or 21% of the total population) were defined as being in fuel poverty ie. spending more 10% of net household income on energy bills. Fuel poverty is a growing problem across the UK, but particularly in rural areas.
The DCLG English House Condition Survey (updated November 2008) concluded that there are nearly three times as many households in fuel poverty in rural areas and that the numbers are increasing compared to urban areas. However, in spite of this, rural areas, and particularly those located off the mains gas grid, have seen little dedicated support or activity to alleviate the problem. Calor is working with government, rural interest groups, utilities, charities and NGO's to address this growing problem, through a combination of practical support and awareness raising both within rural communities and government.
Future of Rural Energy England
Free is a three year £1 million initiative funded by Calor to help tackle fuel poverty and promote effective energy efficiency advice and behaviours in off-gas grid communities across Britain.
FREE year 1 report (June 2011)
The results of this report have provided for the first time a picture of what rurual fuel poverty really looks like ac ross the English regions. Clearly levels of fuel poverty differ between and even within regions and that assistance programmes must be tailored to suit local demand.
FREE year 2 report
The main component of the year 2 report was the undertaking of the Village Energy Audits (VEAs) in off-mains villages.
England Fuel Poverty Map
Locations of households in fuel poverty in off mains gas areas in England.
Wales Fuel Poverty Map
Locations of households in fuel poverty in off mains gas areas in Wales.
Scotland Fuel Poverty Map
Locations of households in fuel poverty in off mains gas areas in Scotland.
The Energy Saving Trust Brochure
The EST , in collaboration with Calor, have produced a comprehensive guide for rural homeowners to stop wasting money and energy in the home .
Fuel Poverty In The Private Rented and Off-Grid Sectors - ECC Select Committee
Calor responds to the DECC Select Committee’s study into off-grid fuel poverty. This submission addresses issues including the factors responsible for fuel poverty in rural areas and suggested improvements to the DECC's policies for tackling fuel poverty among off-grid consumers.
The Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) Briefing
CESP was introduced by the UK Government on 1st September 2009 and will run to 31st December 2012. CESP targets households across Great Britain, in areas of low income, to improve energy efficiency standards, and reduce fuel bills. This briefing addresses the potential to deliver CESP projects in rural areas.