Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action calls for more urgent action to end fuel poverty

Fuel poverty charity National Energy Action calls for more urgent action to end fuel poverty
Date: 04th Mar 2021
Content Type: News

Date:               4 March 2021

Contact:         Michael Potter, 07595410756 / Michael.potter@nea.org.uk

  • Latest fuel poverty figures for England show that 3.18 million households are in fuel poverty, representing 13.4% of all households in England
  • There were no new announcements supporting fuel poor households in yesterday’s Budget
  • Charity calls for immediate steps to protect fuel poor households as we come closer to the end of the COVID-19 crisis

Today [4th March 2020] the UK government released the latest statistical trends and analysis on fuel poverty in England, based on data from 2019. The report shows that the number of households in fuel poverty in England is estimated at 3.18 million, representing approximately 13.4% per cent of all English households.

The figures are based on 2019 data, meaning that it does not capture the impacts of Covid-19. However, the huge increase in the number of people applying for Universal Credit, along with increases in average domestic energy consumption, implies that many more may be struggling with their energy costs.

Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of NEA comments

“Across the UK around 10,000 people die directly as a result of a cold home each winter. Covid-19 has exacerbated this, with lower incomes and households needing to spend more on heating as they spend more time in their homes.

“These new statistics show the scale of the challenge we face to help people keep warm and well. There is a significant way to go before we can be comforted that households can keep warm at winter. Yesterday’s Budget lacked any new support to help fuel poor households, and nothing more to help the Government meet their statutory obligations.

“After a long delay, we now have a Fuel Poverty Strategy for England. This has the right guiding principles to address this national issue but we need action, not words in a government document. Sustained funding is needed to improve the least efficient homes occupied by those on the lowest incomes and help those with utility debt which has been building up over the crisis. “

NEA is calling on the Government to:

  • Announce the remaining energy efficiency commitments in the Conservative Manifesto for the Home Upgrade Grant Scheme and Social housing Decarbonisation Fund, up to the end of this Parliament
  • Help accelerate the repayment of utility debts across the UK by enhancing Fuel and Water Direct
  • Extend and strengthen the increase to Universal Credit (UC) beyond October 2021, to ensure that households can afford to heat their homes during the next winter.



  1. National Energy Action (NEA) is the national fuel poverty charity, working across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure that everyone can live in a warm home. nea.org.uk
  2. The annual fuel poverty statistics report for 2021 (with 2019 data) is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/annual-fuel-poverty-statistics-report-2021
  3. Excess winter deaths compare the number of deaths that occurred during the winter period with the average number of deaths occurring in the preceding August to November, and the following April to July. EWD due to cold homes are calculated as 30% of the overall figure (World Health Organisation, 2011).


For more information and enquiries please contact Michael Potter, Communications and Campaigns Officer at NEA on 07595410756 / Michael.potter@nea.org.uk