The fuel poverty conference today certainly gave food for thought as we grappled with the scale of the challenge. However, everyone who attended is determined to work together to help people in West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly to have warm homes.
We have drawn up a list of priorities which include securing funds and insulating homes properly, bringing an end to prepayment meters that force people on low wages to pay extra for energy, work to make sure people pay the lowest cost possible for electricity, gas and oil, use renewable energy solutions to replace night storage heaters, secure funds to externally insulate park homes, improve the information available to people and argue for a green deal equivalent to help private landlords improve their housing stock.
It would take 3% of the Government's infrastructure spend to bring every home up to a Band C energy rating. This is money well spent if local small businesses secure the contracts to deliver the work and, in Cornwall, we have the businesses that understand the technology to do this work.
I will be drawing up a strategy to tackle fuel poverty in West Cornwall and on Scilly and intend to lobby the Government to help fund this work. The benefits are healthier homes for all ages and reduced hospital admissions, lower energy bills, new skilled jobs and lower carbon emissions.