Fuel Poverty across the UK


In 2016, 649,000 households (26.5% of the total) were in fuel poverty.

(Source: The Scottish House Condition Survey 2016, December 2017)

The definition of fuel poverty in Scotland is if a household spends more than 10% of its income on fuel costs.

Scotland had a target to eradicate fuel poverty by November 2016 but the statutory duty expired and the target was missed. The Scottish Government says that it is committed to developing a new, long-term fuel poverty strategy, with a new target, which will be consulted on in autumn 2017 and taken forward in a Warm Homes Bill in 2018.


In 2016, 291,000 households were classed as fuel poor (23% of the total).

(Source: The Production of Estimated Levels of Fuel Poverty in Wales: 2012-2016, Welsh Government/BRE, July 2016)

Like Scotland, Wales uses a 10% indicator to measure fuel poverty.

Wales has a target to eradicate fuel poverty, as far as reasonably practicable, by 2018.

To find out more, see NEA Cymru

Northern Ireland

Fuel poverty was last reported for Northern Ireland in 2011, estimating that 294,000 households were fuel poor (42% of the total).

(Source: Northern Ireland Housing Executive 2014)

Northern Ireland uses a 10% indicator, but has no statutory target.

To find out more, see NEA NI


The latest figures for England show that in 2015, the number of households in fuel poverty was estimated at 2.50 million, representing approximately 11% of all English households.

(Source: Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report, BEIS, June 2017)

England uses the Low Income High Costs definition to measure fuel poverty. This states that a household is in fuel poverty if their income is below the poverty line (taking into account energy costs) and their energy costs are higher than is typical for their household type.

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.

For more information, see NEA


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.

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.