Thousands of East Riding households ‘in fuel poverty before energy crisis’

Tens of thousands of households across East Yorkshire were in fuel poverty before the national energy crisis, new figures show.

By Andrew Dowdeswell (Data Reporter)
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 2:37 pm
22,581 East Riding households were in fuel poverty in 2020 – according to the most recent official figures. Photo: PA Images
22,581 East Riding households were in fuel poverty in 2020 – according to the most recent official figures. Photo: PA Images

The End Fuel Poverty Coalition has warned many more will struggle to afford rocketing bills this year after the energy price cap rose in April and the war in Ukraine led to an increase in wholesale oil prices.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy figures show 22,581 households in the East Riding were in fuel poverty in 2020 – the most recent official figures.

This was up from 21,259 the year prior, meaning 14.7% of people lived in a property with an energy efficiency rating of band D or below and, after heating their home, had a residual income below the official poverty line.

Across England, more than three million households (13.2%) were in fuel poverty in 2020, the lowest proportion since records began in 2010.

However, these figures do not account for the current explosion in fuel prices, which saw the energy price cap increase by 54% in April, meaning many households can expect to pay around £700 more per year on their bills.

The annual limit on tariffs is due to rise again in October, and Michael Lewis, chief executive of energy company EON UK, warned MPs between 30 and 40% of people in Britain could end up in fuel poverty.

He added that customers’ debts could rise by 50%, or around £800 million.

Simone Rossi, chief executive of EDF, warned parliament that the company had received 40% more calls from customers worried about debt.

Peter Smith, director of policy and public advocacy at National Energy Action, said the “poorest households are all too often also disproportionately impacted by poor housing” and urged the Government to fulfil its £9.2bn commitment to improving the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.

A Government spokesperson said it is continuing to make “significant progress on tackling fuel poverty.”

They added: “We are investing over £6.6 billion this parliament and working directly with local authorities to further boost energy efficiency in homes across the UK.”