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Over three million low income households in fuel poverty, figures show | Personal Finance | Finance

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In 2023, over three million low-income households struggled to pay their energy bills, according to official figures. These households, considered to be in fuel poverty, lived in homes with poor energy efficiency ratings and had incomes below the poverty line after housing and fuel costs.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero revealed that 13% of English households were in fuel poverty last year. This figure remained largely unchanged from 13.1% in 2022.

Without government support, including energy bill payments and cost of living income payments, more than 3.5 million households would have been in fuel poverty. This support was provided to those on low incomes.

The data also showed a significant increase in the number of households spending more than 10% of their income on energy bills. In 2023, this was the case for over a third (36.4%) or approximately 8.91 million households, up from 6.66 million in 2022.

However, due to improvements in energy efficiency, there has been a slight increase in the proportion of low-income households living in properties with better energy ratings. According to the statistics, 54% of all low-income households now live in a property with an energy rating of C or above, up from 53.1% in 2022.

The fuel poverty gap the amount needed to lift a household out of fuel poverty rose to £417 in 2023, up from £348 the previous year. Greenpeace UK’s climate campaigner, Georgia Whitaker, reacted to the data saying: “Progress on tackling fuel poverty is flatlining, despite the ongoing energy crisis, which has forced those on the lowest incomes to freeze in their own homes.”

“The cheapest and most effective way to help is to insulate homes, but Government funding for energy efficiency schemes was pushed off a cliff edge by ministers over a decade ago.” she added.

Whitaker criticised the removal of the legal requirement for private landlords to insulate homes and called on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to “drop his anti-green agenda” as measures like insulation can also ease the cost of living.

This article was crafted with the help of AI tools, which speed up the Daily Express editorial research. A Daily Express editor reviewed this content before it was published. You can report any errors here



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