Private Rented Accommodation Suffers Highest Fuel Poverty Rates

A new report from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has shown that more than two million households in England were left shivering in 2013 - and the hardest hit were people living in privately rented homes, Installer Online has reported.

The Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics 2015 revealed that 2.35 million English households lived in poverty in 2013, or 10.4% of all English households; a slight improvement on 2012 when 2.36 million households suffered the same fate.

However, there was a decrease in the fuel poverty gap due to rising incomes and fuel efficiency measures in the poorest households, from £909 million in 2012 to £877 million in 2013, with an overall reduction of £32 million.

The most hard-hit by fuel poverty were households in private rented accommodation, while owner-occupied households had the lowest rates of fuel poverty - a picture which has remained the same since 2003.

The Low Income High Costs definition classifies a household to be fuel poor if its fuel costs are above average (the national median level) and if the household were to spent that amount, it would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.

The report predicts that the average fuel poverty gap will remain flat in 2014 before increasing to £386 in 2015. The figures are used to identify where improvements can be made.