Our expenditure on fuel and energy has increased by almost 200% between 2008 and 2012.
The cost of energy has increased significantly in recent years, resulting in further struggles for thousands of households in Ireland. Energy poverty is related to the cost of energy, household income and the quality of housing. Supports such as the Fuel Allowance and measures such as improving the energy efficiency of our housing stock have a role to play in tackling energy poverty. Helping low income households to budget for their energy costs is also essential, and SVP is advocating for the rollout of prepayment meters by Electric Ireland, Bord Gais Energy and Airtricity to help with this. SVP is also monitoring the implementation of Warmer Homes: A strategy for affordable energy for Ireland to ensure that low income households, whether they are in private rented, social housing / local authority or owner occupied housing can benefit from energy efficiency measures.
Access to water and sanitation is recognised by the UN as a basic human right, with water needing to be “available, accessible, safe, acceptable and affordable for all without discrimination” (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, www.ohchr.org). People in Ireland will be billed for water charges from 2015. The annual household water bill may be €370. There is a need to balance the requirement to generate revenue for investment in Ireland’s water infrastructure with ensuring that everyone has access to affordable water to meet their needs. SVP is advocating for adequate supports to be put in place to ensure access to affordable water for poor and low income households.