Rebecca Evans AM, Assembly Member for Gower, has welcomed the news that the proportion of households in Wales estimated to be living in fuel poverty has decreased by 6 percentage points in the last 4 years, but says there is still more to do.
A report by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) estimated fuel poverty levels across all Welsh households have decreased from 29% in 2012 to a projected 23% in 2016.
Meanwhile, over the same period the number of vulnerable households in fuel poverty is projected to have decreased by 7 percentage points and the percentage of households considered to be in severe fuel poverty has decreased from 5% to 3%.
Rebecca Evans said: “Over the years, Labour has introduced schemes such as the Winter Fuel Allowance, Home Energy Efficiency Scheme (HEES) and more recently NEST and Arbed to directly address fuel poverty in the Wales. Fuel poverty affects people in many different circumstances, from young families and students to older people.
"I am pleased that our schemes are having an impact, but there is more to do to ensure that people don't have to face the choice of whether to feed their families or heat their homes."
The report finds the impact of energy efficiency measures has been to reduce the projected levels of fuel poverty in all households by approximately 80,000 households, and to have reduced the projected levels of fuel poverty in vulnerable households by approximately 73,000 households.
The Welsh Government Warm Homes programme is designed to promote energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty. The Welsh Government is investing £26 million into the programme this year alone. Since its inception in 2011, Warm Homes has delivered improvements to over 38,000 homes across Wales.
Rebecca Evans said: "It might seem strange talking about the importance of investing in warm homes during the summer time, but this is actually the perfect time for people concerned about the cost of heating their homes to explore whether they may be eligible for a grant from the Welsh Government so that they can be ready for winter."
The Warm Homes programme provides support through Nest, a demand-led fuel poverty scheme for individual households, and Arbed, which supports area-based energy efficiency schemes in deprived communities.