Belfast Telegraph

Fuel poverty body voices fears at report analysis

By Colin O'Carroll

The Fuel Poverty Coalition says it is concerned about how the Department for Social Development (DSD) is interpreting a recent report into fuel poverty.

It says it is worried that the department is taking one of the lower figures in the findings by University of Ulster academic Professor Christine Liddell to illustrate the level of fuel poverty.

The Belfast Telegraph recently reported that the coalition believed a report on fuel poverty by Prof Liddell "underplayed the problem", which was not correct.

The coalition has welcomed the report and said its concern is about how the figures were being represented by DSD. "The Fuel Poverty Coalition welcomes the report from the University of Ulster which says that at least 44% of households are still in fuel poverty and of those households, 13% are experiencing 'extreme fuel poverty' (spending more than a fifth of their income on energy).

"The issue for the Fuel Poverty Coalition is how the Department for Social Development has interpreted the findings, presenting 13% as the 'new calculation' for fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. We want to see targeted support for all households in fuel poverty."

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