Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Strategy 2020-2025


  1. Introduction and background
  2. Strategic aims
  3. National fuel poverty and energy efficiency legislation
  4. Local carbon emissions and fuel poverty statistics
  5. Minimum energy standards for housing in the Arun district
  6. Local energy and fuel poverty projects and partnerships
  7. Energy and Arun District Council's corporate estate
  8. Planning
  9. Arun District Council housing stock
  10. Strategy and action plan review

This document is also available in PDF format:  Energy Efficiency Fuel Poverty Strategy 2020-2025 [pdf] 7MB

Executive summary

The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the reverse.

Herman E. Daly

The current trend is for energy usage to rise, not fall, so tackling this trend is a challenge which this strategy aims to address. Arun District Council is investing in the future and putting energy efficiency and support for those in fuel poverty at the heart of its decisions. The Council has a strategic target of preparing Arun’s response to the Environment and Climate Emergency.

The UK Parliament declared a climate emergency on the 1st May 2019 and has committed to some very ambitious national carbon reduction targets as part of global commitments to climate change. The UK also has some of the oldest housing stock in the developed world and most of these buildings will still be here in the next 50 years; it is crucial that the energy efficiency and carbon emissions of these homes is tackled if the UK is to meet and sustain its carbon reduction and fuel poverty targets.

Fuel poverty is an important issue and can have several serious negative effects on health and well-being. Whether the situation occurs in a small or large home, energy efficiency has a clear role to play in assisting these households.

The Government introduced a statutory fuel poverty target for England1 in December 2014. The target is to ensure that by 2030 as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating Band C 2,3. To support the implementation of this target, the Government published ‘Cutting the cost of keeping warm: a fuel poverty strategy for England’4, in March 2015. The strategy also set out interim milestones to lift as many fuel poor homes in England as is reasonably practicable to Band E by 2020; and Band D by 2025, alongside a strategic approach to developing policy to make progress towards these targets. Arun district has an average EPC rating for domestic properties of D which is the national average and is working hard to raise this and support people living in fuel poverty.

Recently the Government has also released a consultation on the Fuel Poverty Strategy for England 2019 showing it is a constantly evolving topic.

The poverty line (income poverty) is defined as an equalized disposable income of less than 60% of the national median5. Fuel poverty is defined using the Low Income High Cost indicator of fuel poverty. This finds a household to be fuel poor if it:

  • has an income below the poverty line (including if meeting its required energy bill would push it below the poverty line); and
  • has higher than typical energy costs

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) latest statistics for 2017 revealed that 6,127(8.6%) households in Arun district are defined to be living in fuel poverty. In West Sussex 8.2% of households are living in fuel poverty.

The statistics look at the fuel poverty gap between the regions. Fuel poverty gap is the difference between a household’s average bill and what their bill would need to be for them to no longer be fuel poor. On average the fuel poverty gap in the UK

is £326. The South East is the highest in England at £449. In the period 2011- 2017 there has been a 0.4% increase in fuel-poor households in the Arun district, whereas nationally there has been no increase. This data highlights the fact that there is a disturbing trend within the Arun district which needs to be addressed. This strategy is vital to set out how we are supporting these residents and the measures we plan to implement to support them further.

Local authorities play a key role in contributing to the UK’s ambitious national carbon reduction targets, reducing fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency of residential accommodation in their areas. Arun District Council has regularly produced the required Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) reports. The last was submitted and published on the website in May 2019. This Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Strategy 2020-2025 will address more specific local concerns and will greatly expand on measures included in the Council’s HECA report.

Recognising that energy efficiency actions can have multiple benefits for the local area; environmentally, socially and economically, this strategy explains the local impact and extent of fuel poverty across the district and identifies the opportunities for energy efficiency action in the area. This includes details of local work streams and programmes already in place which are addressing these issues such as the Arun Wellbeing Home Energy Visitor service, the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), Decent Homes and the Safe and Warm Home Grant scheme.

This strategy is an updated version of the 2014-19 strategy with updated figures, legislation and projects. The main differences are in the inclusion of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) legislation and how we are working to implement this and the increased awareness of Climate Change and greenhouse gas emission targets.

In addition to the annual action plan which describes future activities and ambitions for the area, the appendices also include current and completed projects, fuel poverty data for the district and a glossary of energy terms.

The action plan for the strategy will be reviewed annually and updated against previously set targets and a revised action plan produced for the following year.

However, a detailed review of the strategy itself will take place in 2024 with implementation from 2025.

2Banding relates to the Fuel Poverty Energy Efficiency Rating (FPEER)
3Household energy efficiency ratings are banded from G (lowest) to A (highest).
5 persistentpovertyintheukandeu/2015