Fuel Poverty

Facts and Statistics

Action For Homes

What is Fuel Poverty?

A household is in fuel poverty if they cannot afford to adequately heat their home.

Fuel Poverty causes misery, ill health and premature deaths in millions of households across the UK. Someone in fuel poverty will be cold, ill and making difficult decisions whether to heat or eat.

The extent of fuel poverty

A Growing Problem

We have estimated that over the next 15 years there will be £950 million of public indebtedness, this is money that will not be spent in the local economies.
Over the next two parliaments the government will have had sufficient means to solve this from taxes on domestic energy & the public infrastructure budget.
The effects over time

The Coming Years

The risk of experiencing severe ill health or disability during childhood and early adulthood is increased by 25% if an individual lives in poor quality housing.
Children living in poorly heated homes are more than twice as likely than those in adequate temperatures to suffer from some form of respiratory disease.

The Sad Truth

During the winter season vulnerable people are especially at risk. In these times we, as energy consumers, plan accordingly and increase our endeavours to conserve our utility usage. Despite these efforts there are rising demands on healthcare and local authorities. Excess Winter Deaths (EWD) is the number of additional deaths there are in the winter compared to summer. This most commonly affects older people and young children.


Preventable Excess Winter Deaths 2016/17


Deaths linked to cold homes across the UK

£22 billion

NHS treatment & cold related admissions


Premature EWD expected over the next 15 years

Overview Of The UK

A fuel poverty epidemic

The UK has an estimated 4.5 million households living in fuel poverty and struggling to heat their homes. Figures estimate in England there are 2.35 million households affected by fuel poverty. In Scotland the number of homes affected is 940,000, Wales 390,000 and Northern Ireland has 290,000 households in fuel poverty.

The UK has a fuel poverty problem. The primary causes of fuel poverty are low incomes, high energy bills and energy inefficient homes. To find out more about fuel poverty in your region use the interactive map below. To see how CAP helped these regions, visit around the UK.

Regional Statistics

CAP works to tackle fuel poverty across England and Wales. Click on the map to learn more about fuel poverty in each area.

By using the number of households in fuel poverty in the specified areas, the percentage of households in fuel poverty and the number of excess winter deaths we can see the areas of concern.

Click the map for regional statistics.



Those in receipt of key welfare benefits may find that the rising costs of fuel and the quality of their housing can lead them into fuel poverty. Financial assistance is a short term solution as the core issue may not be addressed.


The age and strucutre of the housing in rural areas can again affect the fuel consumption in the home leading to inflated bills. The market choice can be limited in rural areas therefore switching suppliers, for monetary gain, may not be an option.


The fuel consumption of the elderly is higher than that of the general population. This can be attributed to their increased ill health associated with their age. This can be exacerbated further if they are in receipt of key benefits.

Low Pay

Individuals who have a low pay income can suffer from fuel poverty due to the limitations attached to their expenditures. Fuel can be compared with other essentials, such as food. This is especially difficult with families where parents can sometimes go without in order to heat home.

Off Gas

Households with no access to the standard route to fuel may find that they are limited with their options. There are two groups. The traditional oil, LPG or electric storage heaters and renewable heating systems.

Help For Households

If you are a householder looking for help and advice on fuel poverty there are agencies in the UK that can help. Please visit the following links for further reading, incentives, advice and support with fuel debt.

Citizens Advice

We aim to provide the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives.

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Energy Saving Trust (England)

We are a leading and trusted organisation helping people save energy every day. Our experts help millions of householders every year.

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Energy Saving Trust (Scotland)

We work with businesses and governments, we drive behaviour change, inspire new energy efficiency programmes and policies.

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