A new report by the Association for the Conservation of Energy has revealed that Falmouth and Truro residents are three times more likely to live in very inefficient homes than other people around the country. Households in Truro and Falmouth spend a whopping £77 million on their fuel bills each year and Cornwall remains one of the worst areas in the country for fuel poverty.
Yet, the report goes on to reveal the huge untapped potential in the installation of proper insulation and efficient boilers. 26% of people (around 11,000 homes) could benefit from cavity wall insulation, 23% (around 10,000 homes) could improve the level of insulation in their lofts and 59% (around 24,000 homes) could upgrade to more efficient heating systems.
However, under current national policy commitment, only around 1,000 homes would be helped by 2020 compared to the 5,800 homes in the area which have been given the very worst energy ratings. Local businesses and charities are thus being called upon to help cut bills, improve residents’ health and well-being and boost the local economy.
The roundtable event, which occurred on Friday 4th November in Truro and sponsored by Calor, brought together key stakeholders in fuel poverty to discuss the findings of the report and speak to Sarah Newton MP about what has worked to date and what remains to be done.
Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton added: “I know that fuel poverty is a significant issue in Cornwall and that, as we approach winter, many of my constituents will be concerned about the cost of heating their homes. I am delighted to have been able to work with UKACE and organisations in Cornwall to discuss what more we can do to combat this problem”
Paul Worth, Area Sales Manager from Calor, said: “This is an excellent report which helps shine a spotlight on the fact that Government energy efficiency schemes have repeatedly missed households living in rural off gas grid areas. Having this sort of detailed information will help target future help to those who most need it.”
Dr Tim Jones, Chief Executive of Community Energy Plus, said: “A stable and long term investment plan to improve the energy efficiency of Cornwall’s coldest homes is currently desperately needed from the government in order to help eradicate fuel poverty. It was helpful to make this case directly to Sarah Newton MP and I hope that we can work with her and the other roundtable participants to find solutions so that misery of cold and damp homes can be consigned to part of Cornwall’s history instead of our future.”