UK Fuel Poverty

 

Scotland

In 2015, 748,000 households (30.7% of the total) were in fuel poverty. The definition of fuel poverty in Scotland is if a household spends more than 10% of its income on fuel costs. Scotland has a target to eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016.

Wales

In 2016, 291,000 households were classed as fuel poor (23% of the total). Like Scotland, Wales use a 10% indicator to measure fuel poverty. Wales has a target to eradicate fuel poverty, as far as reasonably practicable, by 2018.

Northern Ireland

Fuel poverty was last reported for Northern Ireland in 2011, estimating that 294,000 households were fuel poor (42% of the total). Northern Ireland uses a 10% indicator, but has no statutory target.

England

The latest figures for England show that in 2014, the number of households in fuel poverty was estimated at 2.38 million, representing approximately 10.6% of all English households.

Under a proxy 10% measure, the English levels of fuel poverty for 2014 are estimated to be 11.6%. However, for England, the formal measure of fuel poverty uses the Low Income High Costs definition, of which fuel poverty levels are officially estimated at 10.6%. England has a fuel poverty target for as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable to achieve an energy efficiency standard of Band C by 2030.

UK

UK fuel poverty statistics are no longer available as a whole from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) formerly the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The reasoning is that fuel poverty is a devolved issue and each nation has its own definition. Scotland and Wales have their own targets and set policies to tackle this therefore the UK Government recommends that the figures are non-additive (ie should not be combined) in relation to a UK total.

However NEA estimates that over 4 million (15%) of UK households are in fuel poverty (2016).

The annual UK Fuel Poverty Monitor, published by NEA and EAS, records the different fuel poverty rates in the nations, as can be seen in the following diagram:

Fig 1: Source: NEA and EAS, UK Fuel Poverty Monitor 2015-2016

Fuel poverty in the UK

For methodological reasons the rates across the UK cannot be summed, but it is estimated by NEA that fuel poverty affects over 4 million UK households – roughly 15 % of all households.

 

10% definition

Low income, high cost

 

No. of FP households

% of FP households

No. of FP households

% of FP households

England(1)

2,615,000

11.6%

2,379,000

10.6%

Scotland(2)

845,000

35%

*

*

Wales(3)

291,000

23%

132,000

10%

Northern Ireland (4)

294,000

42%

*

*

1. Figures relate to 2014, published by DECC in June 2016

2. Figures relate to 2014, published by the Scottish Government December 2015

3. Figures are projected for 2016, published by the Welsh Government 2016

4. Figures related to 2011, published by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive 2014

(*) Not applicable
Source: DECC, Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics, 2016. National Statistics.