The Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has responded to a comment by Dimplex, saying there was no need to bring gas into the electric heating debate.
Dimplex claimed that upgrading incorrectly specified appliances is the key to reducing fuel poverty in electrically heated homes, not connecting properties to the gas grid.
But in its report published in January, the EUA claims connecting homes to the existing gas grid can reduce average energy bills by £922 for homes currently using electricity as their principal means of heating.
Mike Foster, Chief Executive of the EUA, said:
“I was delighted to see Dimplex’s product marketing director, Chris Stammers, help highlight EUA’s recent report “Fuel Poverty- a connected solution” as this issue needs to be debated. With four million households in fuel poverty, all options to reduce this should be considered.
“I agree with Chris, when he states that a disproportionate number of households in fuel poverty currently use direct electric heating, nearly one in four according to his figures. I also agree with him that those using electric storage heaters are more likely to be in fuel poverty than those using mains gas. With electricity prices rising faster than gas, this will only get worse. And I agree with what Chris says about the unnecessarily high heating bills for those using direct electric heating.
“With this in mind, I would love to read the independent research he mentions so that it can be incorporated into our thinking around fuel poverty solutions.
“I do have one note of discord. Chris criticises EUA for basing data on standard tariff electricity. We did, precisely in a way that addresses his comments about the high costs of direct electric heating, which would use electricity based on the standard tariff. But, and it is a very big but, on page 18 of the report – where we transparently state the unit prices used in our study – we say (and I quote); “The cost of electric heating could be reduced if the homeowner is able to take advantage of an Economy 7 tariff.” I’m not sure what else we could have done to reinforce his points about direct electric costs and the benefits of storage heaters.
“So I’m pleased there is so much agreement. Our report is a contribution to an important debate on fuel poverty and if you haven’t yet read it, you can find it at: – http://www.eua.org.uk/resources/11/“
Thanks for reading.