Jodi Huggett, director of 4Eco – immerSUN, discusses DECC’s recent report on fuel poverty and gives her advice on effectively tackling this growing issue
Earlier this month, the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) announced a significant reduction in the number of households classified as ‘fuel poor’ in the UK.
The statistics, which were released as part of the Low Income High Costs (LIHC) fuel poverty measure, identify a drop of over 84,000 homes that fit into the bracket compared to the 2010 figure.
However, with the report also recognising 2.39 million families as unable to pay basic utility costs, alongside the highest aggregate fuel poverty gap ever recorded, it seems that this reduction is only skin-deep and the issue is now becoming a serious concern.
Fuel Poverty – An Introduction
According to the official definition, if you spend 10 percent or more of your disposable household income on your energy costs, you are in fuel poverty.
Although many people don’t consider the issue to be of high importance, over 11 percent of the population are classified as being in serious fuel poverty, and, with natural resources dwindling and fuel prices rocketing, this figure is only set to increase.
We can’t continue as we are, relying on reserves and wasting huge amounts of energy every day. There is only one sensible solution – and that is switching to renewables.
Tackling Fuel Poverty
Embracing green power generation would provide significant economic benefits, alleviate pressure on natural resources, reduce energy prices and future-proof the UK’s energy supply.
Green power is renewable, obtainable and widely available. In fact, technological advances over the last five years have made self-generation the perfect process to counteract fuel poverty.
What’s more, with so many government-funded incentives in place to support the uptake of sustainability, making the switch is the logical step to take.
From rainwater harvesting and solar power to wind turbines and heat pumps, there is a renewable solution available for everyone. There are even specialist technologies available that can increase the efficiency of green solutions and help to save even more money on utility bills.
The immerSUN – Saving Money, Saving the Planet
In 2012, 4Eco launched the immerSUN – an eco gadget designed specifically to maximise the potential of self-generated green energy.
The immerSUN is a specialist microgen controller that works in tandem with PV solar panels, wind turbines and hydro systems to direct self-generated energy straight to the immersion, storage, space or underfloor heaters.
Once installed, the unit can reduce a typical household energy bill by up to £250 per year, ensuring that your project is environmentally friendly and future-proof. Without the immerSUN, up to 70 percent of the electricity could be exported to the grid, rather than be used for heating.
Furthermore, as the energy is self-generated, homeowners are still entitled to the feed-in tariff.
Following 12 months of positive customer feedback, technical engineers have developed a new-generation system to further improve efficiencies, present a number of new features and incorporate significant technological developments and compatibility benefits.
The new unit, which will be available from October 2013, is the most advanced energy controller available, capable of reducing heating bills and effectively utilising self-generated supply.
As well as powering storage, space and underfloor heaters, installers can even use the unit to maintain swimming pool temperatures, keeping water hot throughout the year and reducing dependence on mains supply.
Embracing sustainability is essential. Not only to reduce fuel poverty, but to ensure an environmentally friendly future for the UK. We all have to play our part and switching to green power has to be the first step.