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.

With the rising cost of energy, there are a number of government schemes and grants available to help people with their energy bills.

Warm Home Discount Scheme

Warm Home Discount is a one-off payment to reduce eligible customers’ bills over the winter months. This winter (2022-23), it's rising from £140 to £150.

You get the payment automatically if your electricity supplier is part of the Warm Home Discount scheme and you or your partner receive the Guarantee Credit portion of Pension Credit. One of you must be named on your bill.

Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1956 you could get between £250 and £600 to help you pay your heating bills. This is known as a ‘Winter Fuel Payment’.

The amount you’ll get includes your ‘pensioner cost of living payment’. This is between £150 and £300. You’ll only get this extra amount in winter 2022 to 2023. This is in addition to any Cost of Living Payment you get with your benefit or tax credits.

Cold Weather Payment

The Cold Weather Payment is automatically given to eligible households in areas where temperatures are recorded below 0 degrees for seven consecutive days.

Last Updated on Monday, March 6, 2023