asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many households in the United Kingdom are in fuel poverty; what proportion of those are in rural areas; how many of those in rural areas are unable to access pipeline gas; and how the number of households in fuel poverty has changed over the past 10 years. [HL1635]
The most recent figures for the UK show that there were approximately 2.5 million households living in fuel poverty in 2005.
A detailed breakdown of the fuel poverty figures for England is available in the “Fuel Poverty 2005—Detailed Tables” at www.berr.gov.uk/files/file42705.pdf. This shows that of the 1.5 million fuel poor households in England, approximately 434,000 (29 per cent) live in rural areas. From the data source used to calculate fuel poverty numbers, the English House Condition Survey (EHCS), it is not possible to identify households that have no access to pipeline gas; however it is possible to identify those that are not on the gas network, either out of choice or because it is not available to them. Around 270,000 of the rural fuel poor households were not on the gas network in 2005.
The table below shows estimates for the number of households in fuel poverty since 1996.
Level of fuel poverty—total in millions of households Year 1996 1998 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 UK 6.5 4.75 2.5 2.25 2 2 2.5 England 5.1 3.4 1.7 1.4 1.2 1.2 1.5
Level of fuel poverty—total in millions of households