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Fuel poverty increased about 22% in UK 2008-2009

Fuel poverty in the UK increased about 22% from 2008 to 2009, according to the latest figures from the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC). A household is said to be in fuel poverty if it needs to spend more than 10% of its income on fuel to maintain an adequate level of warmth (usually defined as 21 °C for the main living area, and 18 °C for other occupied rooms).

In 2009, there were around 5.5 million fuel poor households in the UK, up from 4.5 million in 2008, according to DECC. In England, there were around 4.0 million fuel poor households, up from 3.3 million in 2008.

Fuel poverty in the UK and England, 1196-2009. Source: DECC. Click to enlarge.

The increase in fuel poverty between 2008 and 2009 was largely due to rising fuel prices, DECC said. Gas prices rose by 14%, and electricity prices by 5%, between 2008 and 2009. Rising incomes, improvements in the energy efficiency of housing and social and discounted tariffs continue to help some households from falling into fuel poverty and, in some cases, have removed households from fuel poverty.

Fuel poverty figures are calculated across two years, and so price and income changes for two years need to be considered when looking at these figures, DECC said. Projections for England indicate there are likely to be around 4.0 million fuel poor households in 2010 and 4.1 million households in 2011. Although some price rises will impact on households in the latter half of 2011, it will be 2012 before the full impact of these are visible in the fuel poverty data.



It would be a lot worse at 22C and/or 23C day time like we do in USA and Canada. If the current financial crisis last much longer and the price of food and energy keeps going up, many will be in or beyond that point very soon if not already there.


It would be difficult to track, but worth knowing what percent of a familiy budget goes for transportateon fuel.


For clarification - the term "Fuel Poverty" is defined by the government as households spending more than 10% of their income on domestic energy - that is gas and electricity for heating, cooking, lighting etc. It DOES NOT INCLUDE transportation fuel or costs.

If transport was included, most of the UK would be in fuel poverty because we are charged so much at the pump through high fuel taxes. Successive governments have ignored this and piled on the tax at rates well above inflation.


For further info



This might give pause to some that call for a gasoline tax rise in the U.S. A gasoline tax is regressive, it hurts the low income people the most, the rich really don't care.


The increase in fuel poverty between 2008 and 2009 was largely due to rising fuel prices, DECC said. Gas prices rose by 14%, and electricity prices by 5%, between 2008 and 2009.

So isn't it high time to introduce energy systems that allow us to make heat and electricity at a fraction of the present cost? LANR-CG home CHP appliances with a capital cost of around $100/kW - would solve "Fuel Poverty" in a decade. As well as create huge new manufacturing, install and repair base JOBS, and eliminate aging centralized grids.

Roger Pham

After decades of subsidizing low-cost fuel prices, the gov. of Iran realizes that they are going broke over this, as fuel consumption escalates along with pollution level. So, they decided to stop subsidizing fuel prices, but instead, give out a portion of the fuel-subsidizing money to everyone at regular intervals, to avert the political backlash. Lo and behold, people use a lot of that money for other stuffs, and fuel conservation goes up while pollution goes down. Free-market Socialism triumph over Classical Socialism.

18-21 degrees C is too warm in the winter. Try 15 degrees...There will be no bugs in the house, and non-refrigerated foods will last much longer on the shelf. Going out into the cold outdoor won't be much of a shock. Care to guess how do I know this?


Iran has also promoted natural gas conversions for cars. They have lots of natural gas and not enough refining capacity. If you put money in the hands of people that have little, they are more likely to spend it on what they need. The rich are more likely to spend it on what they want and put the rest into hedge funds bidding up the price of things in a money for nothing yield scheme.


If you put money in the hands of people that have little, they are more likely to spend it on what they need.

They are also more likely to spend it locally.

The poor can only spend money as far away as their feet will take them. The middle-class can spend it as far away as their car can take them. The rich can spend it any where in the world. So you tell me, if you want to help the *national* economy, who do you give the money to?


That is what economists say, you get better flow and velocity at the bottom. At the top you get more hedge funds bidding everything up in futures markets.

Roger Pham

Exactly! Let prices of vital commodities follow free-market trend, but help the poors with financial assistance, in order to promote conservation of precious natural resources and to reduce pollution.

Roger Pham

Furthermore, the role of government is to ensure that free market is really at work, and not subjected to price fixing by hidden monopoly or other vicious schemes.


As long as we are in gridlock with radical right wing elements like today, we will see NO progress. This is a shame, the U.S. is a great country and I hate to see it ruined by idiotic ideology.

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