Fuel poverty gap

Published

1. Main facts and figures

  • in the 2 years to March 2019, the average fuel poverty gap (the reduction in fuel bills needed to take a household out of fuel poverty) was £324 for ethnic minority households, and £337 for White households

  • in almost 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 (£111) – it has not been more than £29 for the last 6 years

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the fuel poverty gap for households in England.

A household’s fuel poverty gap is the reduction in fuel bills it needs to move out of fuel poverty. A household is in fuel poverty if its fuel costs are above average and its disposable income after housing and fuel costs is less than 60% of the average (median) disposable income of all households in England.

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.

Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number but have 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.

Methodology

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 2017 and March 2019. 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:

3. By ethnicity over time

Average fuel poverty gap, by ethnicity over time
Time White Other than White
£ £
2002/04 233 221
2003/05 240 234
2004/06 263 213
2005/07 341 269
2006/08 328 278
2007/09 350 313
2008/10 375 295
2009/11 381 270
2010/12 413 306
2011/13 410 334
2012/14 381 378
2013/15 383 366
2014/16 359 333
2015/17 339 342
2016/18 334 305
2017/19 337 324

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 2019, the average fuel poverty gap (the reduction in fuel bills needed to take a household out of fuel poverty) for all households was £334

  • in almost every period covered by this 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 highest in the 2 years to March 2011 (£111) – it has not been more than £29 for the last 6 years

  • in the 2 years to March 2019, the average fuel poverty gap was £324 for ethnic minority households, and £337 for White households

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Publication frequency

Yearly

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 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 go from G (lowest) to A (highest). Energy efficiency is measured using the fuel poverty energy efficiency rating.

5. Download the data

Fuel poverty gap - Spreadsheet (csv) 5 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value for the White and Other ethnic groups as well as All