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UK: Fuel poverty statistics 2010 reveal increase in fuel poverty level

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The latest Annual Report on Fuel Poverty Statistics 2010 was published on 14 October by the Department of Energy and ClimateChange – headline figures refer to fuel poverty levels in the UK and England in 2008.
This report includes the following highlights:
  • In 2008, there were around 4.5m fuel poor households in the UK, up from 4.0m in 2007. In England, there were around 3.3m fuel poor households up from 2.8m in 2007.
  • The increase in fuel poverty between 2007 and 2008 was largely caused by rising fuel prices, which have risen by an average of 80 per cent between 2004 and 2008.
  • Rising incomes and improvements in the energy efficiency of housing continue to help households from falling into fuel poverty and in some cases have removed households from fuel poverty.
  • Fuel poverty amongst vulnerable households for 2008 stood at 3.75m households (UK) and 2.7m households (England), both up 0.5m from 2007. A vulnerable household is one that contains the elderly, children or somebody who is disabled or long term sick.
  • Projections for England indicate there are likely to be around 4.1m fuel poor households in 2009, by which point the majority of the 2008 price increases will have fed through to the fuel poverty levels. The projection for 2010 indicates a slight reduction in fuel poverty, to 4.0m households in 2010. The projected reduction is due partly to prices falling between 2009 and 2010, and continued improvements in the energy efficiency of housing. Fuel poverty figures for 2009 and 2010 will only be known when we have detailed results of the surveys on household income and efficiency programmes, and will be available for publication in 2011 and 2012 respectively.