Fuel poverty gap
Last updated 14 May 2019 - see all updates
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1. Main facts and figures
- in almost every year between 2003 and 2016, White households had a bigger average fuel poverty gap (the amount of money needed to get out of fuel poverty), compared with households from all other ethnic groups combined
- however, the difference in the fuel poverty gap between the 2 ethnic groups has reduced in size in recent years
- in 2016, the average fuel poverty gap was broadly the same for both ethnic groups, at £326 for White households and £329 for households from all other ethnic groups combined
The ethnic categories used in this data
Data on fuel poverty is collected as part of the English Housing Survey using the 18-category ethnicity classification from the 2011 Census.
However, for this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific or broad ethnic categories.
Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 2 categories:
- White – White ethnic groups (including White British and White ethnic minorities)
- Other – all other ethnic minorities
2. By ethnicity over time
Summary of Fuel poverty gap By ethnicity over time Summary
Fuel poverty statistics use data collected from the English Housing Survey (EHS).
The EHS is a continuous national survey commissioned by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
It collects information about:
- people’s housing circumstances
- household income
- the condition and energy efficiency of housing
The fuel poverty analysis uses a random sample of approximately 12,000 households from the EHS. These households had both a face-to-face interview and a physical survey carried out by a qualified surveyor.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population.
For example, a survey which contains 25% females and 75% males will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which we know is around 50% male and 50% female.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.
Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.
In the EHS, weighting makes the results more representative of the 22.6 million households in England.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Estimates based on fewer than 30 households have not been included in these statistics, because small numbers of households mean that any generalisations based on these estimates are very unreliable.
This is standard policy for English Housing Survey data, from which fuel poverty statistics are derived. The analysis has been done using 2 broad ethnic groups, partly to avoid the possibility of individuals being identified.
More detailed data, including some potentially disclosive data, is protected by a range of disclosure controls. See the guidance on English Housing Survey: datasets for information about accessing this data.
Figures are given to the nearest whole pound.
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Purpose of data source
The main purpose of the Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics data is to:
- monitor progress against fuel poverty targets
- track the percentage of households in fuel poverty and their fuel poverty gap
The government’s fuel poverty target for England is to ensure that as many fuel poor households as reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C by 2030 (with interim targets of Band E by 2020, and Band D by 2025). Household energy efficiency ratings are banded from G (lowest) to A (highest). Energy efficiency is measured using the Fuel Poverty Energy Efficiency Rating.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, number of households