More London homes upgraded under scheme to tackle fuel poverty

More homes in London are benefiting from a green energy scheme designed to lift households out of fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions.

Energy suppliers are required to provide eligible households with free fuel saving measures, such as loft installations or replacement boilers, under the Government’s flagship Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme.

Ofgem says it is a key part of the government’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

However, campaigners have warned of a “dramatic” slowdown in home upgrades across Great Britain.

In London, there were 17,861 energy efficiency upgrades installed in the 12 months to December, the latest figures from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy show.

This was an increase of 81% compared to the previous year.

In total, 168,116 measures have been installed in 147,543 homes in the area since the scheme was launched in 2013.

This means 43 in every 1,000 households have benefitted from at least one ECO measure – significantly lower than the national average of 73.

Across Great Britain, installations have fallen to their lowest level since 2013.

There were 12,500 improvements made to homes in February, the latest national figures show.

This is a fall of 33% compared to the same period in 2013, and 84% lower than a peak of 76,500 in 2014.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas said the fall in support for fuel-poor households was “morally indefensible”.

She added: “These numbers provide yet more evidence that the Conservatives have all but given up on the climate crisis.

“Not only that, they’re condemning 2 million people across the UK to continue living in fuel poverty.”

Peter Smith, director of policy and research at anti-fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, said: “ECO in isolation is not sufficient to meet statutory fuel poverty commitments, and it’s hugely worrying the rate of home energy efficiency improvements continues to dramatically slow, particularly in England.”

The charity wants to see new central investment to tackle fuel poverty introduced in the upcoming government spending review, he added, which would also improve local air quality and reduce health and social care costs.

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