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An open letter to Evan Harris and David Heath

December 16, 2008 11:45 PM

Dear Evan and David

Congratulations on your success in the Private Members' Ballot. We - the Green Lib Dems Executive - are writing to urge you to adopt the Fuel Poverty (Eradication) Bill, which will reinstate the duty to end fuel poverty and compel the Government to take proper action to meet its targets.

We were shocked and disgusted to learn of the High Court judgement in October that ruled that the government's duty under the Warm Homes Act was in fact merely "discretionary" We know this wasn't what our Lib Dem MPs thought was being enacted at the time.

The government has been repeatedly censured by their own Fuel Poverty Advisory Group for their failure to fulfil their duties under the Warm Homes Act. If you take up this Bill, you will ensure that the Government is not allowed to get off the hook again.

The Bill specifically requires the homes of the fuel poor to be brought up to the minimum energy efficiency standards currently enjoyed by new homes. It also requires the use of social tariffs to limit vulnerable households' exposure to high energy bills.

Over 5 million households are currently in fuel poverty, and parents and older people will face the impossible choice between fuel and food this winter. This Bill will not only provide a long-term solution to fuel poverty but also a much-needed boost to Britain's construction industries. It will also help reduce carbon emissions.

We strongly urge you to adopt this Bill.

Kind regards

Adam Carew, Green Lib Dem Exec Member and former Chair

Alexis Rowell, Green Lib Dem Website Editor

Chris Le Breton, Green Lib Dem Exec Member