Campaigners call for ‘urgent action’ over rising energy bills after Labour U-turn as millions risk poverty

Campaigners call for ‘urgent action’ over rising energy bills after Labour U-turn as millions risk poverty

Liam Halligan on Ofgem increase to energy bills

Patrick O'Donnell

By Patrick O'Donnell

Published: 09/02/2024

- 16:04

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is under fire over their plan to tackle the energy bill crisis

Poverty campaigners are urging policymakers to take action over energy costs following the Labour Party’s U-turn on green spending.

National Energy Action is reminding politicians that energy efficient funding is vital if any Government was “cut sky high energy bills”.

Sir Keir Starmer is under fire this week for cutting his initial £28billion spending pledge to improve Britain’s energy efficiency.

This has been met with ire from politicians from both sides of the aisle but has also received criticism from groups tackling fuel poverty.

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Woman shocked at energy bill and Sir Keir Starmer

Fuel poverty is an issue which needs to be tackled if Keir Starmer gets into No10, according to campaigners


The term is used to describe when households cannot keep warm for a reasonable cost or live in a property with an energy efficiency rating of D or under.

“Green” technologies, including heat pumps, have been cited as crucial to improving the living standards of low-income households.

In recent years, families have been saddled with soaring energy bills amid the ongoing cost of living crisis with industry regulator Ofgem raising the price cap in January.

The Labour Party’s proposed investment in Net Zero spending has been slashed in half but this has been called out as not enough by campaigners.

According to the Fuel Poverty Monitor, there is a funding gap of at least £18billion for energy efficiency measures.

Funding needs the legal requirement to make sure English homes in fuel poverty are brought up to a reasonable standard of energy efficiency by the end of this decade.

Adam Scorer, the chief executive of National Energy Action, broke down what is at stake for families across the country.

The energy expert explained: “Millions of the poorest people in the UK live in the worst homes. Homes that are cold, damp and impossible to heat adequately or affordably.

Energy billsEnergy bills have been a major concern for households GETTY

“Energy efficiency cuts sky-high energy bills, reduces carbon emissions and the acute pressures on health and social care services.”

The group called for a fully funded plan to make sure all targets are met and that energy bills are brought down for the poorest in society.

Mr Scorer added: “People in the worst fuel poverty need urgent and sustained action on energy efficiency.

“We expect whoever forms the next government to have a clear, funded plan that will deliver its legal fuel poverty targets.

“That means direct investment at scale in the homes of the fuel poor and it means stronger regulation for landlords. Stepping back from this would be hugely disappointing and, ultimately, self-defeating.”

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