The University of Manchester recently launched On Energy, a collection of thought leadership pieces and expert analysis on a multitude of energy-related issues.
Harriet Thomson, Cait Robinson and Neil Simcock wrote a piece for this collection entitled ‘Reconciling fuel poverty and energy justice in a low carbon society’. The full publication can be viewed online here.
Their article discussed tensions and synergies between fuel poverty alleviation and low-carbon transitions. They argue that whilst many policies to reduce carbon emissions from the domestic sector, such as micro-renewables and energy efficiency retrofits, also have enormous potential to alleviate fuel poverty, such policies should be carefully targeted and funded to avoid regressive and unjust impacts. In the UK presently this is not the case, since carbon reduction measures are funded through levies on energy bills that hit the poorest hardest, and entitlements to energy efficiency support for fuel poor households are based on inadequate proxies such as age and income. They conclude with a number of policy recommendations:
- Review the ‘cliff edges’ in entitlement to support for welfare measures and low carbon measures
- Increase understanding of the barriers and pathways to involvement for vulnerable households within retrofit schemes
- Explore the ‘polluter pays principle’ for funding demand reduction policies
- Make energy efficiency a key national infrastructure priority
On Energy is a partnership between Policy@Manchester, the Energy beacon, and the Manchester Energy network.