Assembly calls on energy suppliers to act on fuel poverty

In a motion agreed unanimously today, Members called on the Mayor to join the Assembly in pressing for a better deal for Londoners from national energy savings initiatives including CERT[2] and CESP[3].

Murad Qureshi AM, who proposed the motion, said

"Household incomes are tumbling in real terms and it is not just those on fixed or low incomes that are going to be hard hit by high energy bills this winter. Recent levels of profits by energy companies along with the hikes in prices of up to 18 percent mean the average household energy bill could be £1200 a year.

"Energy companies have been underperforming on their obligations which could help Londoners living in fuel poverty and we need to get tough with them.

"The Mayor should use his influence to get them to improve their performance and ensure Londoners are not freezing to death this winter."

Victoria Borwick AM, who seconded the motion, said:

"Every year around 2700 people in the UK die because they are unable to heat cold homes and London is particularly affected by fuel poverty because of the high cost of living and the energy companies pushing up prices.

"London has received significantly less cavity and loft insulation that it should have done. Just four percent of homes in the capital have benefited from the CERT scheme and by the end of 2010 only four percent of CESP schemes were in London.

"The Mayor is looking to bring his influence to bear on this issue but energy companies should also step up to the plate to ensure London receives a better deal than it is currently getting"

The full text of the motion passed at today’s meeting reads as follows:

"Energy bills are rising relentlessly and many Londoners are facing falls in their real income. As the coalition government demands the energy companies do better for the UK, this Assembly demands a better deal for London in particular.

A recent investigation by the Assembly’s Health and Public Services Committee heard that London has repeatedly lost out under national energy saving initiatives and that as housing costs take a heavier toll on Londoners than those in the rest of the UK, this has pushed a disproportionate number of Londoners into fuel poverty.

We therefore call upon the Mayor to join with the Assembly in calling upon the six main UK energy suppliers to address this imbalance by fulfilling their CERT and CESP obligations equally across the UK and implement measures that ensure Londoners are no longer disproportionately in fuel poverty."

Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT)Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP). Watch the webcast.

As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.

Fuel poverty is defined as households spending more than 10 per cent of their disposable income on energy.

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The motion was agreed unanimously at a meeting of the full Assembly today