Fuel Poverty across the UK


In 2018, 619,000 households (25% of the total) were in fuel poverty.

(Source: The Scottish House Condition Survey 2018, January 2020, Scottish Government)

The definition of fuel poverty in Scotland is if a household spends more than 10% of its income on fuel costs and if the remaining household income is insufficient to maintain an adequate standard of living.

See Definitions and Targets - Scotland for more information


In 2018, 155,000 households were classed as fuel poor (12% of the total).

Wales uses a 10% indicator to measure fuel poverty.

Wales had a target to eradicate fuel poverty, as far as reasonably practicable, by 2018. The Welsh Government has committed to consult on a new plan to tackle fuel poverty in the autumn of 2019, with the intention of publishing a final revised plan early in 2020.

(Source: Fuel poverty estimates for Wales: 2018, December 2019, Welsh Government)

To find out more, visit NEA Cymru

Northern Ireland

A modelled estimate was produced for 2018 of 131,000 or 18% of households. This was based on the 2016 figure of 160,000 households in fuel poverty (22% of the total) using the 10% indicator.

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

(Source: Estimates of fuel poverty in NI in 2017 and 2018, May 2019, Northern Ireland Housing Executive)

To find out more, visit NEA Northern Ireland


The latest figures for England show that in 2017, the number of households in fuel poverty was estimated at 2.53 million, representing approximately 10.9% of all English households.

(Source: Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report, BEIS, June 2019)

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.

To find out more, visit NEA


UK fuel poverty statistics are no longer available as a whole from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). 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.