Fuel Poverty

What is fuel poverty?

If you are spending more than 10% of your household income to keep your home heated, you may be experiencing Fuel Poverty.

What are the causes of Fuel Poverty?

Fuel poverty can result from a combination of:

  • Low income
  • High fuel prices
  • Poor energy efficient homes, e.g. low levels of insulation and old or inefficient heating systems
  • Under-occupancy: according to UK Government statistics, on average those in the most extreme fuel poverty live in larger than average homes.

To identify if you, or someone you know, may be experiencing fuel poverty there are four key questions to ask:

  • Is your home cold?
  • Is your home damp?
  • Is your home draughty?
  • Are you concerned about being able to afford to use energy in your home?

Effects of fuel poverty

Fuel poverty effects more than the cost of your fuel bill, the effects can spiral to include the deterioration of your home. Fixing any damage can become costly and stressful. For example:

  • Condensation
  • Dampness
  • Mold
  • Dust mites

Fuel poverty can also have a detrimental effect on your health and your family's health by increasing illness. Ill health can cause stress and affect other areas of your life, such as; employment, school or social life. Possible side effects of fuel poverty may include:

  • Cold-related illnesses
  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Allergies
  • Increased risk of heart attacks and strokes
  • Interrupted sleep due to cold
  • Children missing school through illness
  • Worrying about fuel bills - stress and anxiety
  • Social isolation