Magazine article Public Finance

Households in Fuel Poverty Double in Three Years

Magazine article Public Finance

Households in Fuel Poverty Double in Three Years

Article excerpt

Soaring energy bills mean that nearly 5.5 million households will be in fuel poverty by the end of 2008, more than double the number three years ago, according to a survey.

The study, carried out for the National Housing Federation, defines fuel poverty as when households spend at least 10% of their income on energy bills.

And the situation is forecast to get worse. According to IPA Energy and Water Economics, which carried out the study, the number of households in fuel poverty will rise to 5.72 million by the end of 2009 (equivalent to one quarter of the population) and remain above 5.5 million well into the next decade.

In 2005, the average annual energy bill was £676. By next year, following record increases in gas and electricity prices, it is set to reach £1,406.

The study, published on September 9, warned that many social housing tenants were worse hit because they paid for fuel through pre-payment meters. …

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