Fuel poverty doesn’t just strike the elderly

Fuel poverty is normally associated with older people but it is affecting a broader spectrum of households than people think and is being made worse by rising energy bills, finds […]

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By Taryn Nixon

Fuel poverty is normally associated with older people but it is affecting a broader spectrum of households than people think and is being made worse by rising energy bills, finds a thinktank.

The ‘Warmer Homes’ report produced by Policy Exchange attempts to crack the myth that people who cannot afford to heat their home to a comfortable level are pensioners or jobless.

It points out more than half of homes classed as fuel poor, or 1.1 million households, are in work.

The problem has been made worse by rising bills, it says, with consumer gas prices increased by 128% over the period 2003 to 2013.

The thinktank picks out flaws with the fuel poverty strategy, claiming there is a funding gap of £700m for the plan to move all fuel poor homes in England to a ‘Band C’ energy efficiency rating by 2030.

It claims this is estimated to cost £1.2 billion a year but the government is spending £490 million yearly, less than half of what is required.