The coalition Government announced their intention at the spending review to launch an independent review of the fuel poverty target and definition. I have asked Professor John Hills of the London School of Economics to lead this review. The review is expected to publish interim findings in autumn 2011 and to deliver a final report to Government by January 2012.
The terms of reference for the review are:
1. To consider fuel poverty from first principles: to determine the nature of the issues at its core, including the extent to which fuel poverty is distinct from poverty more generally, and the detriment it causes.
2. As appropriate, and subject to the findings under (1), to develop possible formulations for a future definition and any associated form of target, which would best contribute to:
addressing the underlying causes identified;
helping Government focus their resources (which are set out in the spending review for the period to 2014-15) and policies on those who need most support;
measuring the cost-effectiveness of different interventions in contributing to progress towards any target; and
developing practical solutions, particularly around identification and targeting of households and measuring progress resulting from Government action.
The review’s website is available at www.decc.gov.uk/hillsfuelpovertyreview where any updates on progress will be posted.