It's time to abandon "Fuel Poverty"
"Fuel Poverty" is an insidious term. It implies that if poor people risk getting cold that we should provide more fuel for them to burn. That is the last thing we should be doing. Burning fuel releases carbon emissions and contributes to further global warming.
There is an alternative. We do need to talk about "Heat Poverty".
There is also an alternative to burning carbon compounds for heating. We should all be using heat pumps.
Heat pumps are designed to transfer heat from one place to another without employing combustion. They issue no CO2 on site, and no NO2 either. NO2 is the major irritant for those suffering from respiratory diseases, whether poor or rich.
It's time to adjust the Fiscal Background in the UK
The largest barrier to reducing climate change from heating in the UK is Government policy.
The cheapest way to provide heating in the UK is to burn gas. The price of gas in the UK is lower than in any other large European country. This pushes everyone into burning more fossil fuel for heating.
The price of electricity in the UK is larger than in any other European nation apart from Italy. This prevents everyone from moving toward low carbon heating by using heat pumps.
Government should raise taxes on gas and lower taxes on electricity
The Government can reduce the levies and taxes on using electricity for heating.
Most householders in the UK use both gas and electricity: many pay a "dual fuel energy bill". The Government should reduce the levies on electricity at the same time as increasing the taxes on burning gas (and oil).
We urgently need to protect those in heat poverty. Many of those suffering the worst heat poverty rely on direct electric heating which currently suffers an excessive tax burden. We need to help these people and transfer the "environmental levy" taxes onto the rich people who have been able to afford gas heating (to the detriment of the planet).