Fuel Poverty Awareness Day and the importance of energy efficiency

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day serves as a reminder that access to affordable and sustainable energy is a basic human right.

We need to prioritise energy efficiency as one way of addressing fuel poverty while we work towards a future that is more environmentally responsible and equitable.

Approximately 6.3 million households in the UK currently struggle with fuel poverty. This means that many individuals and families find it hard to cover the costs of keeping their homes warm and cosy. This struggle often forces tough choices between heating, eating, and meeting other essential needs. The impacts of fuel poverty go beyond immediate discomfort – they can lead to health issues, social isolation, and financial strain.

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, on 30 November and organised by National Energy Action, is designed to shine a spotlight on this critical issue affecting millions, and is a reminder of the urgent need to address fuel poverty.

Five benefits of energy efficiency

Energy efficiency opens up a world of transformative benefits that can help to tackle fuel poverty:

  1. Affordability: Energy-efficient homes are more affordable to run. By investing, including with the help of grants, in insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and renewable energy sources, households can reduce their energy bills.
  2. Health and wellbeing: Adequate heating is essential for maintaining good health, especially in more vulnerable communities such as the very young or older population. Energy-efficient homes provide consistent warmth, reducing the risk of respiratory illnesses and other health issues associated with living in cold, damp conditions.
  3. Environmental impact: Reducing our energy consumption is crucial for curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and it’s an urgent necessity to safeguard our planet.
  4. Job creation: Investing in energy efficiency, from the installation of insulation to adopting fossil-free heating technologies like Air Source Heat Pumps, not only increases sustainability but also contributes to job creation and a green economy.
  5. Social equity: Energy efficiency initiatives can address social inequality by ensuring that all members of society have access to affordable and sustainable energy.

Five actions you can take

On Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, individuals, communities, and policymakers are encouraged to take meaningful action to address fuel poverty, and promote energy efficiency. Here are some ways to get involved in support of the campaign, or improvements you can make yourself:

  1. Raise awareness: Share information about fuel poverty and energy efficiency on social media platforms. Use the hashtag #FuelPovertyAwarenessDay to join the conversation and spread awareness.

    Share the Low Carbon Hub’s free resources to help people this winter.
  2. Become an energy champion: At Low Carbon Hub we’re working with our community network to train and empower people to delivery energy advice in their communities. If you’re interested in becoming an energy champion keep an eye on our website for future training opportunities.
  3. Use the free Plan Builder tool: Start the journey to improve the energy efficiency of your home by using the free online Plan Builder from Cosy Homes Oxfordshire. This tool helps you discover what potential energy saving improvements are possible in your home, and what they might cost.
  4. Encourage businesses to take action: Encourage individuals and organisations to conduct energy assessments to identify opportunities for improvement. Simple measures, such as installing energy-efficient lighting or improving insulation, can make a significant difference. Energy Solutions Oxfordshire offers a free Workplace Energy Efficiency Checklist to help organisations get started with quick-win, low-cost actions.
  5. Advocate for policy changes: Support policies that promote energy efficiency and advocate for measures that address fuel poverty on a systemic level. Engage with local representatives and policymakers to emphasize the importance of creating a sustainable and equitable energy future.

More free resources on energy efficiency

Improving the energy efficiency of our homes can range from the small, and mostly free actions to the very large, and more costly actions. And these changes are crucial in tackling fuel poverty and creating a more sustainable future.

We have created two free resources that can help everyone understand the ways they can make improvements to their homes:

  • Warmer Winter Checklist: This free resource has tips and information to help you keep your fuel bill down this winter. From ensuring you are receiving all the support you are entitled to and understanding how your heating works through to how to draught-proof your home.
  • No-cost, low-cost energy saving: This includes lots of ways you can save energy in your home, many of them either free, or at very low cost.

We want everyone to be able to live in warm and comfortable homes that won’t break the bank to heat. If you work with any community groups and would like printed versions of these resources, please do get in touch by writing to info@lowcarbonhub.org and we’ll send you free copies.

For more Low Carbon Hub resources, and information of community support we offer, do check out our Energy advice and support webpages.