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A report on fuel poverty to the French Government

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A report on fuel poverty has been delivered to French government on 6 January 2010. It is based on nearly 80 contributions from actors of solidarity, housing, energy management, energy suppliers, funders and elected officials. The report proposes a definition of fuel poverty, resulting from the combination of three main factors: low income, poor thermal quality of housing occupied and difficulty of performing the energy bills. It provides quantitative data showing that people in fuel poverty are most often owners in private buildings.
The number of French households concerned by fuel poverty is estimated to 3.4 millions, including 425 000 households most exposed. The fuel poverty affects primarily rural zones and small towns. The consequences are environmental (risk of poisoning, moisture, mold), health (respiratory diseases and winter mortality) and social (stress, withdrawal). The report agrees that much is done by many actors with many tools but with a curative approach while the focus should be on prevention. A national plan to fight against energy poverty in France is proposed with specific measures that shall be considered for implementation by the French Government.