More than 2.3m families living in fuel poverty in England

From The Guardian: More than 2.3 million families are living in fuel poverty in England – the equivalent of 10% of households, according to government statistics.

Almost 60,000 households in Birmingham alone cannot afford to heat their homes. The figures show the West Midlands city is worst affected, with Leeds, Cornwall, Manchester and Liverpool also in the top five local authorities where households face “eat or heat” choices in winter.

However, rural areas of England are proportionally the worst affected, with more than 20% of households on the Isles of Scilly classified as fuel poor. Other badly affected areas include Eden in Cumbria, Richmondshire and Ryedale in North Yorkshire, and West Devon.

Fuel poverty is calculated by gauging if a household’s income would fall below the official poverty line after spending the actual amount needed to heat the home. The average fuel poverty gap of these households – that is, the amount needed to escape fuel poverty – is £371 a year, the latest figures indicate, with those in privately rented properties hit hardest.

About 20% of households renting from a private landlord are classified as fuel poor and single parents with dependent children are at the highest risk, with almost 25% in fuel poverty.

[Read full article on Guardian website…]