chapter  4
27 Pages

Fuel Prices and Policy

The many and substantial increases in household energy prices that have occurred since 2003 have focused attention on the ‘fuel’ part of fuel poverty. As a result, it might appear that fuel poverty is caused by these rapid changes and that they provide the key to solving the problem of fuel poverty. While they are clearly important, the thesis in this book is that the primary cause is energyinefficient homes. This still means that it is important to identify what it is about fuel price rises that causes such concern and hardship. It is also necessary to examine whether sufficient effort is made to ensure that the poorest households pay the lowest prices and how much fuel poverty has been caused by utility policies and how much the energy companies can be expected to reduce the problem.