Government’s fuel poverty data sparks reaction

An estimated 3.16 million English homes were fuel poor in 2020

Nearly 3.16 million households were in fuel poverty in 2020.

Publishing its annual fuel poverty statistics, the government estimates almost 13.2% of homes in England were fuel poor in 2020, slightly down from 13.4% in 2019.

The authors of the report attribute the reduction in fuel poverty to the progress of the energy efficiency programme.

The data shows 52.1% of low income homes achieved an energy efficiency rating of band C or higher, up from 47.8% in 2019 and 14.6% in 2010.

Following the release of fuel poverty statistics, Peter Smith, Director of Policy at National Energy Action, said the data “shines a light on hugely alarming lack of progress to meet the government’s statutory commitments.”

Mr Smith added: “By 2030 there should be no fuel poor households living in energy inefficient homes. But based on current progress, instead of eight years, it will take over 60 years for that to happen.”

Simon Francis, Co-ordinator of the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said: “Today’s 2020 historic fuel poverty data shows just how significant the government’s failure to tackle fuel poverty has been.

“The impact of measures taken pre-pandemic has barely shifted the dial – and we know very little has been done since 2020 to change the picture.

“Indeed, the situation has become much, much worse. Estimates from charities working in fuel poverty consistently predict that more than six million households in England are now in fuel poverty – due in part to the energy bills crisis.”

Listen to ELN’s podcast about the current state of fuel poverty in the UK.

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