Follow our 4 simple steps for successful fundraising
Get started today
Our local Age UKs have the inside knowledge in your area
Find your local Age UK
Source : Press Association
Published on 15 March 2012 12:00 PM
English low-income earners, paying energy costs above the typical level, faced a total of £1.1 billion more in heating costs than middle or high-income earners in 2009, according to a new fuel poverty report.
The independent review by Professor John Hills used a new way of measuring fuel poverty, taking into account the number of people affected and the severity of the issue.
It found that almost 8 million English people in 2.7 million households were on a low income while facing high energy costs three years ago - an increase of 75% compared to back in 2003.
The review also predicted that the fuel poverty gap will rise to £1.7 billion by 2016, which means low-income earners will have to spend almost £600 more on energy costs per year than wealthier households with typical costs.
Professor Hills said: 'There is no doubt that fuel poverty is a serious national problem - increasing hardship, contributing to winter deaths and other health problems, and blocking policies to combat climate change. But the official measure has fed complacency at times and gloom about the impact of policies at others.
'When one focuses on the core of the problem in the way I propose, the outlook is profoundly disappointing, with the scale of the problem heading to be nearly three times higher in 2016 - the date legislation set for its elimination - than in 2003.
'But this daunting problem is one with solutions. Our analysis shows that improving the housing of those at risk is the most cost-effective way of tackling the problem, cutting energy waste, with large long-term benefits to society as a whole. We need a renewed and ambitious strategy to do this.'
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK said: 'Over the last decade the Labour and then Coalition governments have been fighting a losing the battle against fuel poverty. The Hills review states that the fuel poverty gap will rise by a further half to £1.7 billion by 2016 and the interventions currently planned will only reduce the problem by a tenth. The figures quite frankly do not add up and we fully support Hills’ call for an immediate, revised and ambitious strategy to deal with fuel poverty.'Age UK fears that the current proposals to improve energy efficiency through the Green Deal and Energy Obligation Schemes are a woefully inadequate response to one of the most serious issues facing our country today. Hills’ analysis provides all the evidence needed and the Government must make a major investment to improve housing stock. We want to see fuel poor households prioritised in this programme.'
'The number of households in fuel poverty increased to five million by the end of 2011 with nearly a quarter of those households including an older person. Even more shocking is the fact that there are 200 excess winter deaths a day due to our society’s inability to cope with the effects of cold weather.'
Copyright Press Association 2012
In the following short film produced for Sport Relief, two older people talk about the harsh reality of living in fuel poverty:
Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.
We have a number of experts available for comment, including:
Caroline joined Age UK in 2012.
A social scientist and barrister, Caroline has spent her career in the voluntary and public sectors, mostly on children and families’ issues. She has worked in a senior capacity at the children’s charity, Action For Children and at the Local Government Association. Caroline has also been a policy adviser to Ministers and Shadow Ministers, and a senior civil servant. A former chair of the End Child Poverty campaign, Caroline’s policy interests include integrated health and care, family policy, poverty and the role of the voluntary sector.
Caroline oversees Age UK’s influencing work and her team covers research, public policy, health influencing, media, campaigns and engagement and public affairs. She is also the Charity's lead spokesperson.
Caroline decided to work for Age UK because she could see that there was a lot to do to change policy and practice so older people are served well, and because she passionately believes that Age UK can make a big difference.
James is head of our research department in Age UK.
His responsibilities include:
He has a Visiting Professorship in Ageing at Loughborough University.
Jane Vass has been Head of Public Policy at Age UK since 2012, having joined Age UK’s predecessor, Age Concern England as Financial Services Policy Adviser in 2006.
She was previously an independent consumer consultant specialising in financial services from the consumer viewpoint. In this capacity she undertook research such as reports for the National Consumer Council on equity release and on financial capability for the Securities and Investments Board.
She also wrote the Daily Mail Tax Guide for 10 years. She was a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel from 1999 to 2003, and from 1983 to 1993 she worked for Consumers’ Association.
Jane was given an OBE for her services to financial services in the June 2015 Birthday Honours list.
This factsheet, which is regularly updated, is the most up-to-date source of publicly-available, general information on people in later life in the UK.
A download is a document (like a research report, a leaflet, or an application form) that can be transferred from our website to your computer. You can download a file, view it on your screen, print it, or save it to your computer.
PDF stands for ‘portable document format’.
Most downloads on this website are PDFs. We use this format to ensure that the document looks the same on everyone’s computer (website pages, by contrast, appear differently depending on how people have set their computer up).
Computers use a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDFs. If you try clicking on a link to download a PDF and it doesn’t work, you will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader onto your computer.
The process is quite straightforward and is free.
PDFs cannot be changed.
Downloads will open on your computer in a new browser window.
Inside this window (below all your web browser menus), there will be a toolbar with options for you to print or save the document.
Close the browser window to return to the Age UK website.
We have made every effort to make our PDFs accessible to screen readers. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Reader website to ensure that accessibility options are included in your version of the programme.
You can use Adobe Reader to read a PDF out loud with the following shortcut keys:
You can convert a PDF document into a text file for use with other software and hardware such as Braille printers by opening the PDF and choosing ‘Save as text’ from the File menu.
Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily
To see information relating to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales set your preference below: