Around 250 key stakeholders will be heading to Sheffield this week [16-18 September] for the national conference of fuel poverty charity National Energy Action.

Fuel poverty affects over 4 million UK households, with around 25,000 households in Sheffield alone, struggling to afford to meet their basic needs for comfort and warmth in the home.  The conference which is themed ‘Fuel Poverty: Mission Possible?’ is supported by SSE Energy Services and will look at the challenges facing those in fuel poverty and the solutions available.

Sheffield City Region Mayor, Dan Jarvis MBE MP, will be providing the keynote address. He said:

“We all have an important part to play in tackling fuel poverty. It is a national scandal that each year tens of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people are dying unnecessarily due to the cold weather.

“We know that preparation is key and there are several areas in which we as a country can be better prepared – such as by reducing energy prices and addressing the issue of cold, damp and draughty homes.

“To effect change, we need to think and do differently, and do our utmost to ensure that future cold winters do not have the same devastating consequences for our relatives, friends and neighbours.

“This conference is an important step in all of us working better together, to prepare for this winter and winters after that.”

Since last year’s conference there have been major developments in the policy landscape which will impact on fuel-poor households. Perhaps most significantly, the UK Government has legislated for a legally-binding target to reach a net zero carbon target by 2050.

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of NEA commented: “NEA supports the push for net zero but we also believe that the most vulnerable households should be protected from the costs whilst not being excluded from the benefits of reaching the carbon target. This poses significant challenges for policy makers who look to aggressively decarbonise power, heat and transport, whilst ensuring that energy remains affordable for all, and that the fuel poverty strategy targets can be met. This is one of the challenges we will exploring in Sheffield”.

Gareth Wood, Director, SSE Energy Services commented: “SSE Energy Services has a valued long-established relationship with NEA and we are delighted to continue our support by sponsoring this year’s annual conference. Through our collaborative relationship we are able to help even more energy consumers with advice on energy efficiency, debt management and income maximisation.”