Students are victims of fuel poverty according to new research.
The study by Dr Saska Petrova of the University of Birmingham showed about half of young people surveyed said they had cut back on their use of appliances to save energy and a large number of students who shared flats were living in poor quality housing.
The study showed the vast majority of them did not believe they were living in fuel poverty even though more than half had reported problems of mould and condensation in the flats.
Dr Petrova said: “This group represent a part of society that is invisible to fuel poverty assistance and many of them do not acknowledge or recognise they are experiencing fuel poverty. Yet many suffer from inadequate warmth or other problems related to the maintenance and condition of their property.
“In addition to the poor knowledge of thermal comfort and energy efficiency standards, their situation is, in part, attributable to the widespread cultural expectation that it is acceptable for young people to live in poorly-heated and low quality housing.”
Fuel poverty is defined as spending more than 10% of your income on fuel and heating.
Dr Petrova suggested landlords should have a set of obligations to improve the energy efficiency of rental properties. She will be presenting her research to the Royal Geographical Society in Edinburgh today.