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Energy Action Fuel Poverty Conference Dublin Castle 6 February 2012 Energy Affordability Policy - Challenges Michael Culloty National Social Policy and.

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Presentation on theme: "Energy Action Fuel Poverty Conference Dublin Castle 6 February 2012 Energy Affordability Policy - Challenges Michael Culloty National Social Policy and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Energy Action Fuel Poverty Conference Dublin Castle 6 February 2012 Energy Affordability Policy - Challenges Michael Culloty National Social Policy and Communications Officer MABS National Development Ltd.

2 Outline Agenda About MABS Objectives Utility debt - MABS Statistics Affordable Energy Strategy

3 MABS – Free, Confidential and Independent Objectives: 1.The provision of money advice to people in debt or in danger of getting into debt 2.Empower them by providing knowledge and skills 3.Promote change in policy and practice 4.Focus on low income families

4 MABS Statistics Statistics: In excess of 26,000 new active cases in % increase in clients approaching MABS since % increase in Helpline calls in 2010/11 (125% increase since 2009) 70% of clients are social welfare recipients 47% of clients have a mortgage

5 Energy Utility/MABS Operational Protocol Basic Principles: is designed to improve operational effectiveness of the energy suppliers/MABS engagement enables and commits the suppliers and MABS to work together effectively to help clients address debt problems in an effective and realistic manner accepts that each supplier adopts a different approach to debt recovery and each case of indebtedness is unique recognises the concepts of full disclosure and debt settlement commits energy suppliers and MABS to work together to formulate a mutually acceptable, affordable and sustainable repayment plan Note: Protocol focus is on process – but obviously the goal is to avoid disconnection

6 MABS Statistics contd. No. Of Clients Approaching with Energy Debts 2007 to 2011 Increase of 150% Client indebtedness approaching MABS with Energy Debts 2007 to 2011 Increase of 145 %

7 MABS Statistics contd Budgeting Weekly: Year Quarter Weekly AV usage as % of Weekly Av Income 2007 Q1 9% € Q1 11% €489

8 MABS Statistics in Context – EU SILC

9 MABS Stats contd. Personal loan1 Utility2 Credit card3 Mortgage4 HP loan5

10 Causes of Energy Poverty Strategy for Affordable Energy – three factors/drivers Identified 1.Household Income Income adequacy – enough income to participate in society and exercise choice - Persistent Income inadequacy – provides recurrent household budgetary management problems. Lack of savings/ access to credit - for contingencies Creditor Pressure - Lack of Prioritisation Lack of money management/budgeting skills

11 Causes of Energy Poverty Strategy for Affordable Energy – three factors/drivers Identified 2. Price of Energy Price Fluctuation Unbanked – no access to cheapest tariff – poor energy credit history Prolonged cold spells

12 Causes of Energy Poverty Strategy for Affordable Energy – three factors/drivers Identified 1.Energy Efficiency of the Building Reduction in demand essential Thermal efficiency is basic Capital Investment not income support the priority

13 Affordable Energy Strategy – Key Tasks Vulnerable Consumers and Codes of practice -(19, 23, 24 & 45) A definition: MABS recognises a vulnerable consumer to be someone who for reasons of age, health or disability, the disconnection of gas or electricity presents a clear threat to their or a member of their household’s health or wellbeing. Codes Supervision – More proactive Code for non- regulated suppliers – supervision vital Reporting – verification – will the Energy Utility/MABS Operational Protocol be included

14 Affordable Energy Strategy – Key Tasks Fuel Switching (12 & 20 & 21) System switching – Local knowledge, capital investment Price Switching - Low tariffs available to low income consumers - Available through the proposed BPA – standing orders Aligning income supports (14) – Energy efficiency and demands on income This demands individual energy and income/ expenditure audits

15 Affordable Energy Strategy – Key Tasks Metering: (16) Acceptance of metering Self Disconnection Access to payment methods Avoiding disconnection (29) Arrears agreements to be affordable and sustainable No disconnection for Domestic ‘can’t pay’ consumers Permission for third party involvement before disconnection

16 Affordable Energy Strategy Key Tasks Strengthening consumer protection (CER) (17) Sharing of Data (15) (29) – possible clusters - tailored responses Single Points of Contact (37 & 38 & 39) a Local central point for information and advice Information and education (33 to 36) – a Local central point for information and advice Developing local responses (42) – strong working partnerships

17 MABS Thank you

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