1 - Tackle Fuel Poverty

Ladies keeping warm

High 5 Priority 1 Tackle Fuel Poverty

Questions we asked the election candidates:

What steps will you take to ensure that the collective effort of ALL Ministers and Departments in the NI Executive is focused on tackling fuel poverty?

How will you support plans to introduce social tariffs to help protect vulnerable older people from soaring energy bills?

Why is this a priority issue?

Energy prices are continuing to soar, and we know that many older people are finding it difficult to heat their homes in winter, particularly when winters are as tough as the one we’ve just experienced.

Government figures tell us that older people continue to die unnecessarily during the winter months, and there have been an estimated 756 excess winter deaths amongst older people for the winter of 2009/10.  This happens at the same time as figures show an alarming increase in fuel poverty. Figures show that more older people live in fuel poverty now than 3 years ago, up to 62% from 47%. 114,450 older people were recorded to be living in fuel poverty in 2006 and this increased to 148,900 people in 2009.

England, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Wales all offer social tariffs to older people, who might otherwise struggle to pay for their energy.  There are also plans in Great Britain to introduce a scheme that will give a £130 discount to pensioners off their electricity bills.  Despite higher energy costs and higher levels of pensioner poverty in Northern Ireland, older people here are not offered the same protection as their counterparts.

High energy costs are a key cause of fuel poverty in Northern Ireland.   We need to offer protection to those older people who are struggling to afford to heat their homes.

Social Tariffs are discounted energy tariffs for those who find it difficult to heat and light their homes. The introduction of mandatory social tariffs would offer older people greater protection against fuel poverty.

We want to see social tariffs introduced for older people in Northern Ireland.


opens link in new window High 5 factsheet - Tackle Fuel Poverty (PDF 178 KB)

Go to Priority 2: High 5 Priority 2 Maximise Pensioner Income

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