Fuel poverty gap
1. Main facts and figures
in the 2 years to March 2021, the average fuel poverty gap (the reduction in fuel bills needed to take a household out of fuel poverty) was 36% higher than for ethnic minority households at £171 for ethnic minority households, and £233 for white households
in every period covered by the data, white households had a bigger average fuel poverty gap than ethnic minority households
the difference in the fuel poverty gap between white and ethnic minority households was at its highest in the 2 years to March 2011 (£69) and lowest in the 2 years to March 2017 (£32)
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the fuel poverty gap for households in England.
The fuel poverty gap is the reduction in fuel costs needed for a household to not be in fuel poverty. This is either the change in required fuel costs associated with increasing the energy efficiency of a fuel poor household to a Fuel Poverty Energy Efficiency Rating (FPEER) of at least 69 (band C threshold) or reducing the costs sufficiently to meet the income threshold.
The information relates to households of either one person or a group of people sharing cooking facilities and a living room or dining area. It must be their main or only home.
The fuel poverty gap is rounded to the nearest whole pound but has been worked out using unrounded numbers.
You can also see data on the percentage of households in fuel poverty.
Not included in the data
Estimates based on fewer than 30 households have not been included. This is because it is harder to make reliable generalisations from smaller numbers of survey respondents.
The ethnic groups used in the data
Data is shown for 2 ethnic groups:
- white – white ethnic groups (including white British and white ethnic minorities)
- other – all other ethnic minorities
This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about any of the 18 ethnic groups or 5 aggregated groups.
Each household’s ethnic group is the ethnicity of the ‘household reference person’ (usually the person responsible for paying the rent or mortgage). There may be people of different ethnicities in the same household.
Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.
Household fuel costs and income have been adjusted to take into account differences in the numbers and ages of people living in them.
The data is an average for 2 years, for example from April 2018 and March 2020. This is to make sure there are enough households to be able to make reliable generalisations. You can read more about combining multiple years of data and some of the issues involved.
The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:
interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed
how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole group being studied
3. By ethnicity over time
|Year||White||Other than White|
Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)
Summary of Fuel poverty gap By ethnicity over time Summary
The data shows that:
in the 2 years to March 2021, the average fuel poverty gap (the reduction in fuel bills needed to take a household out of fuel poverty) for all households was £223
in the same period, the average fuel poverty gap for white households (£233) was 36% higher than for ethnic minority households (£171)
in every period covered, white households had a bigger average fuel poverty gap than ethnic minority households
the difference in the fuel poverty gap between White and ethnic minority households was at its highest in the 2 years to March 2011 (£69) and lowest in the 2 years to March 2017 (£32)
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 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 possible 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 go from G (lowest) to A (highest). Energy efficiency is measured using the fuel poverty energy efficiency rating.
5. Download the data
This files contains the following variables: Measure, Ethnic_group, Time_period, Value, Value_type, Numerator, Denominator