There’s a nice little collision going on in the UK between two groups or people: or perhaps two different visions of the good society. This is between the concept of fuel poverty and the legislation being used to try and deal with climate change.
"Figures show a huge rise in UK households in fuel poverty, even before expected rises in the price of gas and electricity, and charities predicted that this winter would see millions more people struggling to keep warm at home."
The concept of fuel poverty itself isn’t all that bad: it’s defined as having to spend more than 10% of household income to heat (both the house and water etc) to what is considered an acceptable level.
There’s also not much wrong with the idea (although I snarl about the specific implementations at times) of using leguislation, taxation, to try to deal with climate change.
What makes it interesting though is that the two ideas are at loggerheads with each other.
To beat fuel poverty we either have to make energy cheaper or give more money to those fuel poor households so they can buy more of it.
To beat climate change we need to make energy and fuel more expensive and to actively dissuade people from using them.
There’s not really any way out of this: oh people insist there are, by making UK housing more fuel efficient, but so much of that has been built in a way which just cannot be made sufficiently efficient that that won’t work either. (There are other problems as well: in my own flat in England it would actually be illegal to install double glazing: such is the problem of having lots of historic housing around.)
Just a nice example of how there are almost never solutions, only trade offs. Climate change or poor cold people? Your choice.