Effects On Communities

Wider Implications Of Fuel Poverty

Which Aspects Of Society Are Affected?

People's perception of the fuel poor is mainly governed by the media and mainly concentrates on individuals.

The issue is wide reaching and can affect the community as a whole. The effects of fuel poverty can erode community spirit with people feeling isolated. Their health will be impacted by an insufficient warmth in the home. The welfare required to keep individuals and families out of the fuel poor bracket can become strained.


Pressure on Local and NHS services as we see an increase of those suffering from environmentally aggravated illnesses.


People on fixed, low incomes struggle to incorporate an increase in their utility bills or heating an inefficient home.


With a stretched disposable income and ill health, community engagement and regeneration suffers.



Physical or Mental?...

The temperature in the home should be between 18 and 24 degrees for the environment to be comfortable. Incremental degree by degree drops impact not only on physical but mental health also. There is a lower perceived well-being.


In the last year...

Statistcs from Cooper et all 2014. show that 40% of vulnerable households were faced with the stark choice of heating or eating. Sadly also 20% of parents regularly went without food so that their children could eat.


In the coming 10 years...

The annual capital cost to bring all low-income households in England and Wales to EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) band C by 2025 is 2.6 billion. A total of over 12 million EPC grades were logged by June 2014, of which 66% were banded as C or D.

Welfare: Strain On The System

One of the main causes of fuel poverty is low disposable household income. There are welfare reforms that are currently impacting negatively on many household incomes. It is not purely the unemployed that are subject to these reforms but also those in low-income professions.

This situation can be addressed with guidance on supplementary support and efficiency measures in the home. They may find that they have required fuel costs that are above the national average and could benefit from efficiency measures regardless of residential status.

People and communities exposed to widespread fuel poverty are under immense pressure.

The risk to the individual is in two key age brackets, those aged 16-24 and the elderly. There are high fuel costs, exacerbated medical conditions both physical and mental and stresses associated with the responsibility of dependants in the household.

The effects associated with the property is the age, structural condition and size of the home. The energy efficiency regarding insulation and the heating system apply undue pressure on income, especially those unable to switch suppliers in rural and off gas areas.

  • Anxiety & Depression

    Mental health issues increase by 50% in cases where people are living in a home under the desired temperature of 21 degrees.

  • Economic Downturn

    Accompany that with the stress that poverty and debt bring and it is a dismal situation that these householders find themselves in.

  • Community Effect

    Stress and anxiety attributed to lack of income can mean individuals can no longer participate within their communities.

  • How Can I Get Involved And Help?

Long Term Effects On Community

With less disposable income making it to the local economy local businesses can suffer, which can lead to a further negative impacts on the community.


Low Income

Low income, whether restricted by benefits or low pay means that tough decisions have to be made on where the limited budget is spent.


Older People

With an increased risk of illness associated with insufficiently heated homes the elderly may suffer seasonally causing an increase to local health services.



Increased strains on the community due to geographic restrictions and limited off gas supply solutions fuel poverty can cause further breakdown.

Innovative Community Action

Community action helps by bringing people and organisations together to cooperatively and sustainably tackle the root causes and effects of fuel poverty. Community initiatives are typically activity or event based, and can be delivered by anyone with the determination to make a difference.


Bringing together resident and community groups to establish sustainable approaches to tackle fuel poverty.


Passionate individuals who can be supported and guided by CAP assisted initiatives to help their communities tackle their specific issues.


Training and seminars for key front line workers together with community activities address grass root causes of fuel poverty.