ALEO has responded to the sections in the consultation paper relating to i) improving public service delivery, and ii) providing assistance to citizens living in fuel poverty.
In principle, ALEO supports the proposals to share Government data with energy companies to enable a wider group of fuel poor households to receive automatic Warm Home Discount (WHD) rebates. This will make a small but positive difference to the lives of the affected households, but much more can be achieved if local authorities are also given the option to access the same Government data.
This would enable local authorities to contact the same fuel poor households in order to provide other affordable warmth services that go beyond the WHD rebate. These services could include:
- Advice and support in switching to cheaper tariffs to reduce fuel costs
- Improving the energy efficiency of their homes by accessing assistance to upgrade insulation and heating
- Help to ensure all due benefits are being claimed
- Negotiating with energy suppliers over fuel debts
- Advising on the best use of heating controls, and on changes to how the occupants live in their home to keep warm at less cost
- Advice on how to avoid the health risks of living in a cold home
- Help to repair broken boilers
- Access to short-term emergency support in times of crisis (e.g. temporary heaters or short-term credit for heating costs).
The NICE guideline was published in March 2015, and amongst other things it recommends that:
- Health and Wellbeing Boards should develop a strategy that includes i) identifying people whose health is at risk from cold homes, and ii) providing a tailored programme of year-round assistance.
- Local authorities, primary health and home care practitioners should collaborate to use data, professional contacts and knowledge to identify people who live in cold homes.
ALEO's full consultation response can be downloaded from the link, below. For more information on the consultation visit:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultat ... government
A PDF versions of this press release can be downloaded below.