Currently a home is classified as being in fuel poverty if it has to spend 10% or more of its total income on maintaining a 'satisfactory' level of heat. The new definition, however, proposes a more abstract perspective: if a household has above average fuel costs that leave them with a 'residual income below the official poverty line' they will be put in the bracket.
We have heard a lot of comment from anti-coal campaigners in the last several months, especially during the public consultation period for the new energy strategy. Their opinion is important to us, as are opinions of all stakeholders. But presenting the EBRD as the last institution that clings to coal and focuses on fossil fuels is incorrect on many levels.
It's time to tackle the real problems. The wholesale cost of energy is the main component of our energy bills, it has gone up significantly and will continue to do so, and we can't change that. What we can do is stop wasting energy by improving our energy efficiency, and supply more from secure renewable sources. And with serious investment in these areas now, we can achieve lower energy bills in future.
So the saying goes "if you can't beat them, join them" and the latest raft of energy price hikes suggests now is the time for UK consumers to consider doing just that. We are a nation tired of being held to ransom by our energy bills - so has the time come to ditch our reliance on energy companies by becoming the bosses of our own energy supplies?