8.4 million UK households will be in fuel poverty from April, says National Energy Action

Fuel Poverty Awareness Day 2 December 22 logo

01 December 2022

Friday 2 December is National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day

  • The charity releases figures showing the impact of Government changes to the Energy Price Guarantee and Energy Bills Support Scheme on the most vulnerable
  • New national polling figures show 81% say they will ration energy this winter, while 55% are already rationing hot water, and 13% are reducing use of medical equipment

Ahead of National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day on Friday 2 December, the charity releases new figures to show the impact of this winter’s spiralling prices and how the most vulnerable will be affected when the Government’s energy support changes from April next year. From April, 8.4 million UK households will be in fuel poverty.

The Government has announced the average annual energy bill will be £3,000 from April under the Energy Price Guarantee. From next year the £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) will also cease and be targeted to help the most vulnerable. This is a 40% increase on current prices and means prices will have more than doubled in 18 months*.

Adam Scorer, chief executive of National Energy Action (NEA), says:

“This winter has already been bleak and next year is set to be even worse. With Government support being reduced and energy bills spiralling yet again in April, one in three households will be in fuel poverty. That means many of them will be forced to bed wearing coats, rationing showers and hot water, it means running up huge debts or self-disconnecting and going cold. Millions of the most vulnerable – carers, people with disabilities, those on low incomes and living in inefficient homes – are already bearing the brunt this winter. The situation will continue to get worse next year. The effects of this are devastating on both physical and mental health. Make no mistake, cold homes can kill. Government intervention must prioritise the most vulnerable in 2023 and beyond.”

National Energy Action’s figures show that the number of households in fuel poverty will increase from 4.5 million UK households last October to 8.4 million. Our figures also show, from April, the following UK groups will be in fuel poverty:

  • 1.8 million carers
  • 5.9 million low-income and financially vulnerable households
  • 3.6 million people with a disability
  • 1.6 million households in off-gas homes

Even before the latest price rises, many were already struggling. An online survey of 1,049 UK adults aged 16-75 conducted by Ipsos for the University of Birmingham revealed that many Britons plan to take steps to reduce their household energy bills in the next three months. 81% say they will definitely or probably leave the heating on for less time than usual and 77% will turn the heating thermostat down lower than they usually would, while 41% say they will turn their heating off completely. What’s more, in the last three months, 13% have reduced the use of their medical equipment, at least once a week, to reduce their household’s energy bill or save money generally.

The charity is asking people to write to their MP. You can find a template letter at https://www.nea.org.uk/energy-crisis/contact-your-mp.

What does fuel poverty look like in your area?

The national average number of households in fuel poverty is 13.42%. 

Fuel Poverty Statistics by Constituency

Middlesbrough

  • In Middlesbrough, 7664 households (18.9%) live in fuel poverty.
  • Last year there were 30 excess winter deaths in Middlesbrough.
  • For every 1000 Middlesbrough homes, on average 324.8 received support from the main national energy efficiency programme.

Redcar

  • In Redcar, 5814 households (14.4%) live in fuel poverty.
  • Last year there were 70 excess winter deaths in Redcar.
  • For every 1000 Redcar homes, on average 270.3 received support from the main national energy efficiency programme.

For people struggling to stay warm and safe, please go to www.nea.org.uk/energyhelp.