Number of families in fuel poverty set to climb furtherThursday, 14 July 2011 02:08
Around 5.5 million households in the UK were blighted by fuel poverty in 2009, rising by a million from the previous year, according to official statistics released today.
The increase was largely due to rising fuel prices, the report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change said.
Gas prices rose by 14 per cent and electricity prices by five per cent, between 2008 and 2009.
A household is deemed to be in fuel poverty when it spends more than 10 per cent of its income on energy bills.
Projections for England alone indicate there are likely to be around four million fuel poor households in 2010 and 4.1 million households in 2011.
Michelle Mitchell, charity director at Age UK, said of today’s data: “With new figures showing almost half of people living in fuel poverty are aged over 60, today's eye watering increase in fuel poor households shows this problem continues to hit older people the hardest.”
She added: “It is astonishing that in the face of this scandalous increase, help for fuel poor households through the Warm Front scheme is being phased out and the promised solutions contained in Green Deal don't come into force until late 2012 – too late for the millions of people struggling to heat their homes this winter.”