Data sharing key to combating disastrous levels of fuel poverty

13th Feb 2018

 

No doubt this winter has been characterised by erratic weather, bitter cold and snowy spells. Whilst many are able to find comfort in returning to a warm, cosy house to thaw out, for the 4 million UK households in fuel poverty this couldn’t be further from reality.

The Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has long advocated a multi-agency, collaborative approach with sensitive, controlled data sharing to improve the situation of the fuel poor. Our recent report, Fuel Poverty: Ending the vicious cycle of vulnerability, recognises that the Digital Economy Act (2017) provides a critical opportunity for local authorities, GP practices, Health and Wellbeing Boards and Clinical Commission Groups, food banks and other organisations to identify those as risk, and aid intervention.

As a result, we are pleased that the Government is moving towards recognising the power of sharing data in combatting the endemic fuel poverty experienced in the UK. At present, under the Digital Economy Act, data can be shared for use in administering measures such as the Warm Home Discount and the Energy Company Obligation Scheme, but the Government are currently conducting a consultation on extending this to cover Ofgem’s proposed safeguard tariff for vulnerable consumers at risk of fuel poverty.

The consultation is open until the 26th February, and you can respond here.