Helen McAvoy, Institute of Public Health in Ireland and Christine Liddell, University of Ulster
03 Dec 2009
This Annual Update on Fuel Poverty (December 2009) follows the All-Ireland Policy Paper on Fuel Poverty and Health published in 2007 and the Annual Update on Fuel Poverty (December 2008). It details developments on the island of Ireland in policy and research, and activities of the statutory and voluntary sector.
It is clear that 2009 created particular challenges for the fuel poverty lobby. The combined impacts of a severe economic downturn, rising fuel prices, and a colder than average winter created unusual pressures. In response both jurisdictions introduced additional winter fuel subsidies.
It was a prolific year for public consultations, reviews of policy, and partnership building. A wide-ranging package of fuel poverty activities were undertaken, coordinated by governments, local authorities, and voluntary sector agencies. These had significant impacts on housing stock and household energy efficiency. Nevertheless, the prevalence of fuel poverty on the island, and its severity has continued to rise.
This paper presents some of the island’s significant developments in policy, research, economics and the activities of the statutory, community and voluntary sectors during the past year.