A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain a satisfactory heating regime (usually 21 degrees for the main living area, and 18 degrees for other occupied rooms).
In the calculation of this ratio, the fuel consumption is modelled, to ensure the household achieves the satisfactory heating regime. Therefore, if the dwelling is actually heated to a temperature below the level defined as being satisfactory, the estimated bill for that household will be higher than the actual bill and vice versa.
In addition to space heating, the fuel costs component also includes modelled spending on energy for water heating, lights and appliances and cooking.
Whether a household is in fuel poverty or not is determined by the interaction of a number of factors, but three specifically stand out. These are:
- The energy efficiency of the property (and therefore, the energy required to heat and power the home)
- The cost of energy
- Household income
Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics Report
The latest fuel poverty statistics report, which was published on 17th May 2012, is available to download:
In addition, the indicators document (available for download below) contains a range of supplementary indicators that can provide a useful background to consider alongside the report:
This document presents a series of detailed tables containing headline fuel poverty statistics for 2010:
A long term detailed tables series of fuel poverty, which contains detailed tables over the period 2003-2010. This is available for download in this Excel spreadsheet:
The 2010 fuel poverty dataset and associated English Housing Survey (EHS) data used to create the above tables will be available on the UK data archive during July (timed to coincide with the release of the EHS data).
Please note that you must first register before you can access the data. In addition, you can request the energy costs advanced use data set by emailing email@example.com after the main data is published.
This dataset consists of the EHS identifier and variables on energy costs by fuel and energy use (e.g. gas costs for space heating) only as these are not currently available on the UK data archive.
The Fuel Poverty methodology handbook provides more detailed information on the methodology used to produce these data and general information about the fuel poverty data: