This page provides fuel poverty statistics for constituencies in England and local authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Fuel poverty is a devolved policy area and is defined and measured differently in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Estimates have also been produced at different times and sometimes with large gaps. Data for different nations therefore isn’t directly comparable.

In general, households in fuel poverty must spend a high proportion of their household income to keep their home at a reasonable temperature.

Fuel poverty is affected by three key factors:

  • a household’s income,
  • their fuel costs,
  • their energy consumption (which in turn can be affected by the energy efficiency of the dwelling).

Current local area estimates of fuel poverty data are from 2021 or earlier, and therefore don’t account for the recent rapid increases in domestic energy prices.

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Notes

The latest local area fuel poverty estimates do not take account the recent rapid increases in domestic energy prices. The England statistics are for 2021, Scotland for 2019, Wales for 2018 and Northern Ireland for 2016.

The government’s fuel poverty estimates for England are based on the efficiency of homes, which is not sensitive to changes in energy prices. In England a household in a property with an energy efficiency rating of C or better (around half of dwellings) cannot be defined as being in fuel poverty, regardless of their income or the level of energy prices.

The definition in England also treats energy rebates, such as the Warm Home Discount, as if they improve the energy efficiency of a dwelling. This reduces the numbers deemed to be in fuel poverty without the added benefits of actually improving energy efficiency.

The charity National Energy Action (NEA) uses a different definition of fuel poverty. It defines a household as in fuel poverty if it needs to spend 10% or more of its income on energy in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime. This gives a more realistic picture of the scale of fuel poverty in periods of more volatile energy prices, but local area statistics are not available.

The Library briefing paper, Fuel Poverty in the UK, discusses fuel poverty projections and non-official estimates in more detail.

Please note that the Scotland and Wales figures are rounded to the nearest thousand.

The poverty line (income poverty) is defined as an equivalised disposable income of less than 60% of the national median.

Data updates

We aim to update this dashboard in line with data releases from each devolved administration, but the data shown here may not be the latest available. MPs and their staff can contact the Commons Library with queries about updates.

Sources

Further reading

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