UK government sees increase in fuel poverty this year

Source: DECC

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has said it expects the number of households in fuel poverty will "increase marginally" over the course of this year.

Until July 2013, any household spending more than ten per cent of its income on gas and electricity was defined as being fuel poor. The government has now narrowed its definition, including only households where total income is "below the poverty line" and where "energy costs are higher than typical".

Under the new definition, the report found that around 2.39m households were fuel poor in 2011 under the new measure - around 11 per cent of the population. This is a fall of 84,000 households from the year before.

In aggregate, the poverty gap increased by £23m to £1.05bn in 2011 from the year before. On average, the poverty gap was up £24 to £438.