Fuel Poverty

Definition

Fuel poverty is defined by the government as a household whose fuel requirements are above the national average, and if they were to try to reach those requirements, their leftover income would sit them below the official poverty line.

Fuel poverty is when a household spends more than 10% of its income on fuel i.e. gas and electric.

Fuel Poverty Gap

Fuel poverty gap is the difference between a household’s ‘modelled’ (average) bill and what their bill would need to be for them to no longer be fuel poor.

On average the fuel poverty gap is £327.50

Statistics

  • 1

    A government report said more than two-and-a-half million families were unable to pay the costs associated with heating their homes without falling below the poverty line in 2016 – an increase of 69,000 on the previous year.

  • 2

    More than one in 10 households living in fuel poverty

  • 3

    Fuel poverty affects 3.5 million UK households – roughly 12.9% of all households.

  • 4

    Almost 4 million children in England live in fuel poverty.

Adverse Effects of Fuel Poverty

  • CHILDREN AND FUEL POVERTY

    Living in a cold home leads to an increased risk of children suffering a range of health problems, from asthma and bronchitis to poor mental health. Cold homes adversely affect their educational attainment and general wellbeing.

  • NHS

    Nationally, cold homes cost the NHS £3.6m per day, and in the past four years alone over £5bn of tax payers’ money has been wasted while 117,000 people have died needlessly due to the cold.

  • Cost

    The estimated cost to the NHS of treating conditions and illness in people of all ages caused or made worse by cold homes is around £1.36 billion per year.

  • Health

    The Journal of Public health reported that fuel poverty caused diminished cardiovascular health, frequent respiratory infections and symptoms, increased anxiety and depression, and worse self-rated health.