Fuel Poverty


A fuel poor household is one which cannot afford to keep adequately warm at reasonable cost. It is deemed that households spending more than 10% of their income on fuel bills are experiencing fuel poverty.

How to Calculate if you are in Fuel Poverty

Fuel Poverty Ratio = Fuel costs (usage x price) / income.

If the above ratio is greater than 0.1 then the household is Fuel Poor.

Living in cold homes can damage people’s health and affect their quality of life. The elderly, children, and those with a disability or long-term illness are especially vulnerable.

There are three main causes of fuel poverty:

  • poor energy efficiency in the home
  • high energy prices
  • low household income

The Benefits of Cavity Wall Insulation

Cavity wall insulation is a great way to make cost savings in heating your home, especially in houses where the external walls are made up of two layers with a small air gap or 'cavity' between them.

If you have cavity walls, insulating them will make a real difference to the warmth in your home and your heating bills.

Did you know that cavity wall insulation will keep your home warmer in the winter but cooler in the summer. It can also help to prevent condensation on the walls and ceilings.

According to the Energy Saving Trust if you live in a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house you could save over £160 a year on your fuel bills and around 800kg of carbon dioxide each year – every little helps towards the environment!

The Benefits of Loft Insulation

Hot air rises, so without loft insulation you may be losing as much as a quarter of your heating costs through your roof. If your home already has loft insulation, but the material is thin, it won't be saving you as much money as it could.

If you live in a typical three bedroom semi detached property and have no loft insulation, installing the recommended 270 mm depth of insulation could save you over £200 a year on your fuel bills. Also, that’s around a tonne of carbon dioxide each year so not only will you be saving money and keeping your home toasty, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too!

Loft insulation is a quick and easy, cost effective way of saving money. The loft insulation acts as a blanket, trapping heat rising from the rooms below, reducing the amount of heat lost through the roof, making your home feel warmer.

Tips on how to save Energy in the Household

There are a number of ways to reduce your energy bills and save energy in the household, such as:

  • Install cavity wall and/or loft insulation
  • Install energy saving light bulbs
  • Upgrade an old G-rated Boiler to an energy efficient Condensing Boiler
  • Draft proof doors and window frames
  • Fit a jacket to your hot water cylinder
  • Double-glaze windows

For information on how to do the above, and to see more hints and tips please visit the Energy Savings Trust. The Energy Saving Trust (EST) is the UK's leading impartial organisation helping people save energy and reduce carbon emissions.

Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) Report 2013

The Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) requires all Local Authorities to prepare a report setting out the energy conservation measures that the authority considers practicable, cost-effective and likely to result in significant improvement in the energy efficiency of residential accommodation in its area.

This is the starting point for action by central and local government to significantly improve the energy efficiency of residential accommodation across the country, a legal requirement under the Climate Change Act 2008 and a key strategy for reducing fuel poverty.

Bassetlaw District Council is keen to encourage and support local domestic energy efficiency improvements in order to bring about significant benefits for our residents including:

  • helping to reduce fuel bills for local residents;
  • helping make homes warmer and healthier;
  • support for the creation and maintenance of local green businesses, jobs and skills;
  • opportunities for local economic and physical regeneration;
  • making a vital contribution to reducing local and national carbon emissions;
  • supporting wider local strategic priorities, on issues such as health and poverty.

HECA Report for 2012/13

The Council's HECA Report details the opportunities for improving energy efficiency and sets out our aims for the area. This report will be updated every two years.