Fuel poverty depends on location

However, with huge anomalies in how wealth is distributed across the capital, some parts of London could be experiencing far higher levels of fuel poverty than the findings suggest.

As well as being the fuel poor capital of the UK, Wales is also the victim of a postcode lottery on energy prices that sees local households paying more for their energy than most other parts of the UK.

The research also doesn’t take into account the most recent round of energy price hikes, which added £161 or 14% onto household energy bills and pushed an estimated 569,000 more households into fuel poverty. In total, household energy bills have rocketed by £633 or 96% in just over five years and an estimated 6.9 million or 27% of households are now fuel poor.

Figures from DECC suggest that 63% of households in fuel poverty are living in owner occupied accommodation while just 19% are in Local Authority or Registered Social Landlord housing.

Because of higher modern Social Housing standards, the latter are more likely to have benefited from energy efficiency measures in their home, reducing the amount of energy used and therefore the cost. 

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said: "Rocketing energy prices mean that no area of the UK is safe from the clutches of fuel poverty.

"The fuel poor can be found in all types of households and in all parts of the country, but some regions and households are clearly more vulnerable than others.

"There is now real urgency for the Government to deliver on fuel poverty and to act quickly to alleviate the misery being faced by those who cannot afford to heat their homes.

"But, in the meantime, households have to start protecting themselves and there are two key steps to this: pay the lowest possible price for your energy and learn to use less of it.

"Those who are particularly vulnerable, on a low income or benefits should talk to their supplier about its social tariff. Failing that there are plenty of cheap energy plans that households can switch to and this will help them to cut the cost of their energy.

"This saving can be boosted further by making homes more energy efficient through insulating lofts and cavity walls. Suppliers have a pot of money available to help customers in this way and those who qualify could see their energy bills substantially reduced as a result."

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