Charities have warned that a government attempt to redefine fuel poverty could have a damaging impact on households affected by the problem.
Energy secretary Ed Davey revealed last week that a new definition would be adopted by the coalition, which would consider the effect the affordability of fuels such as heating oil. However, campaigners have expressed concern about the plan and urged a rethink.
National Energy Action chief policy analyst Ron Campbell insisted that whatever definition was accepted by the government, a concerted effort to tackle fuel poverty remained essential. He also called on the coalition to provide greater financial support to vulnerable households.
“The government’s proposals mean that the number of fuel-poor households in England will reduce significantly without any actual improvement in their circumstances; in reality they will still lack access to affordable warmth,” he said.
Earlier this week, Scottish and Southern Energy chief executive Ian Marsden claimed in a Daily Telegraph article that plans to subsidise the development of new nuclear reactors could push electricity bills even higher.