Official UK government figures show a slight fall in the number of households living in fuel poverty from 5.5 million in 2009 to 4.75 million in 2010.
The government has welcomed the figures, putting the improvement down to rising incomes, particularly among lower income households, better energy efficiency and more installations of energy efficient boilers, and largely static energy prices.
“I am encouraged by the fall in fuel poverty in the period to April 2011,” commented Energy Minister Greg Barker. “[But] fuel poverty remains a serious national problem and the Coalition is absolutely committed to tackling it.”
The figures are based on those for England and Scotland, which show fuel poor households in England fell from 4 million to 3.5 million over the period, with extrapolated estimates for Wales and Northern Ireland.
But while the number of fuel poor households is likely to have stabilised last year, projects are that the number will rise back up to 3.9 million in England this year as price increases kick in.
Households can for the moment still get help with heating and insulation through the Warm Front scheme and around 2 million low income and vulnerable households can get money off their energy bills through the Warm Home Discount.
But going forward, Barker says the government’s Green Deal scheme will go much further.
“The Green Deal will help people pay for home improvements through savings on their energy bills with extra financial help for the most vulnerable,” he added.
For further information:
UK renters missing out on £990 million energy efficiency savings (3-May)
UK Prime Minister opposed to compulsory energy efficiency improvements (17-Apr)
Energy efficiency help for UK homeowners to get easier (3-Apr)
Fuel poverty serious national problem, says independent UK report (16-Mar)
18 May 2012