Sinn Féin publish proposals to end fuel poverty – John Brady TD & Brian Stanley TD
The ‘Tackling Fuel Poverty’ document explores changes to energy prices over the past ten years and compares these costs to other EU countries as well as outlining key proposals across Housing, Energy and Social Protection which if implemented collectively would see an end to fuel poverty.
Teachta Brady has said:
“For years, this Government and successive Governments have failed to grapple with the scourge that is fuel poverty
“Back in 2007 a report by the Institute of Public Health in Ireland described levels of fuel poverty here as 'unacceptably high'. More than a decade later and levels remain unacceptably high.
“As a result of Government inaction, there are now 400,000 households in this State experiencing fuel poverty. We see between 1,500 and 2,000 people die annually from cold-related illnesses while at the same time fuel costs continue to increase and households continue to struggle.
“We need to put an end to the vicious circle of rising fuel costs leading to increased pressure on householders to manage their bills leading to debt and leading to disconnections. This Government need to step up and implement a cross-Departmental approach to tackle and end fuel poverty."
Teachta Stanley concluded:
“This week in the Dáil, my Bill on Microgeneration received unanimous support from all parties and none; progression of this Bill cannot come quick enough. Allowing householders and small business develop small scale renewable energy and sell excess electricity back to the grid, wins on two fronts, it allows households reduce energy costs and also will add to the state’s overall supply of renewable energy.”
ENDS Editor's notes:Main Proposals -
- A cross Departmental report into the effectiveness of the Fuel Allowance scheme taking account of increased energy costs.
- Explore option to introduce a Cold Weather Payment as is in place in the North in times of severe weather events.
- Increase resources to local authorities to enable them to increase the number and frequency of inspections.
- Continue the roll-out of the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme and ensure that Phase 2 is made available to improve local authority housing across the State.
- Expand eligibility for the Warmer Homes Scheme which offers some energy retrofitting to certain low income households free of charge.
- Introduce a subsidised low cost green loan scheme to enable the purchase of energy efficiency and microgeneration technologies by a wider cohort of households so that increasing numbers can enjoy lower energy bills.