Fuel poverty statistics

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).

The “Fuel poverty ratio” is therefore defined as: Fuel poverty ratio = fuel costs (modelled consumption x price) ÷ income

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:

Annual report on fuel poverty statistics 2012 Size: [4.47 MB] File Type: [.pdf]

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:

Fuel poverty monitoring indicators 2012 Size: [645 KB] File Type: [.pdf]

Data

This document presents a series of detailed tables containing headline fuel poverty statistics for 2010:

Fuel poverty 2010: detailed tables Size: [111 KB] File Type: [.xls]

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:

Trends in fuel poverty England: 2003 to 2010 Size: [335 KB] File Type: [.xls]

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 fuelpoverty@decc.gsi.gov.uk 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.


Methodology information

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:

Fuel poverty methodology handbook Size: [397 KB] File Type: [.pdf]

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