Fuel Poverty

The Climate Change Environment and Rural Affairs Committee (the Committee) undertook an inquiry into fuel poverty.


The Welsh Government had a statutory obligation (under the Fuel Poverty Commitment for Wales 2003, as required by the Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000) to eradicate fuel poverty, as far as is reasonably practicable, in all households in Wales by 2018. Welsh Government figures from 2016 estimated that 23% of Welsh households were living in fuel poverty. The latest figures, published in May 2019, showed that 12% of households were still living in fuel poverty.

The Welsh Government committed to consult on a new plan to tackle fuel poverty in the autumn of 2019, with the intention of publishing a final revised plan early in 2020.

Terms of Reference

The Committee considered the following:

·         the scale and impacts of fuel poverty in Wales;

·         why the Welsh Government failed to meet its statutory target of eradicating fuel poverty in Wales by 2018;

·         how Welsh Government action to date has helped to combat fuel poverty, in particular, the impact of the Warm Homes Programme (including Nest and Arbed) and the Welsh Housing Quality Standard;

·         how the Welsh Government’s successor to the fuel poverty strategy (due for consultation in Autumn 2019) should differ from its 2010 strategy;

·         what steps the Welsh Government should take to ensure that new-build homes, as well as existing homes, are highly energy efficient to prevent them causing fuel poverty in the future.

Evidence gathering

The Committee held evidence sessions with stakeholders to inform its work on 8 January 2020; 22 January 2020 and 30 January 2020.

On 13 February 2020, the Committee took evidence from the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, and the Minister for Housing and Local Government. Following the meeting, the Chair wrote (PDF 366KB) to the Ministers, (on 14 February 2020) to request a written response to questions that were not reached during the session due to time constraints. The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs responded (PDF 373KB) on 3 March 2020.

The Committee also consulted stakeholders on this topic. The consultation responses have been published.

Committee report

The Committee published its report: Fuel Poverty in Wales (PDF 1579KB) on 24 April 2020.

The Welsh Government responded (PDF 555KB) to the Committee’s report on 9 June 2020 and provided a further response (PDF 240KB) on 22 September 2020.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Status: Complete

First published: 01/08/2019