£70m to fight fuel poverty will help deliver lower fuel bills, says AM

Vale of Clwyd AM, Ann Jones has warmly welcomed news that the Welsh Government will allocate £35m in 2014-15 and £35m in 2015-16 to encourage energy companies to invest in Wales.

Energy companies already have an Energy Company Obligation to improve the energy efficiency of UK homes. The £70m will be used as match funding to incentivise them to invest in energy efficiency improvements in homes here in Wales rather than elsewhere in the UK.

The additional funding will sit alongside the Welsh Labour Government’s existing strategic energy efficiency programme, Arbed. Not only will it reduce fuel bills in Welsh homes it will also provide increased opportunities for Welsh businesses and help to create high quality, local jobs.

Mrs Jones said: “People across Wales are suffering from high energy prices and constant increases are certainly contributing to a cost-of-living crisis as family’s budgets are squeezed.

“More and more people are falling into fuel poverty as they struggle to find the money to pay their bills. The Welsh Government is committed to tackling fuel poverty. Ministers in Cardiff have invested heavily in the Arbed scheme, Phase 2 of which has seen energy efficiency measures like external and internal insulation and efficient boilers being installed in over 4790 homes in some of the most deprived parts of Wales. This has provided much relief for families across Wales.

“Not only will the extra £70m in funding ensure warmer homes and lower fuel bills in some of the less wealthy areas of Wales, it will also offer new and lucrative opportunities for Welsh businesses and ensure a healthy supply of high quality job opportunities across Wales.

“If you combine this with the recent announcement by Ed Miliband, promising to freeze fuel bills for 20 months – it is clear to see that it is the Labour Party who are truly on the side of families and are pushing to lower fuel bills for people right across Wales”.

The additional £70m for the fuel poverty scheme was announced as part of the Welsh Government’s budget for 2014-15.