Fuel poverty gap
1. Main facts and figures
- in 2017, the average fuel poverty gap (the average reduction in fuel bill needed to remove a household from fuel poverty) was £299 for ethnic minority households, and £327 for White households
- in almost every year between 2003 and 2017, White households had a bigger average fuel poverty gap than ethnic minority households
- the difference in the fuel poverty gap between White households and ethnic minority households was smaller in 2017 compared with 2011
The ethnic categories used in this data
Data on fuel poverty is collected as part of the English Housing Survey using 18 ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census.
However, for this data, the number of people surveyed was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic groups.
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
|Time||White||Other than White|
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
Each year, approximately 12,000 households take part in the interview. Around half of these properties are selected for the follow-up physical survey (key to fuel poverty energy modelling), involving a physical inspection of the property by professional surveyors.
Two years’ worth of EHS data from households selected for both the interview and physical surveys are combined to ensure an adequate sample size for fuel poverty modelling. For the 2017 data, this covers the period between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2018, and comprises 11,963 households over two consecutive data collection years (2016/17 and 2017/18).
Therefore, users are advised to use caution when looking at year on year changes in fuel poverty, as the samples will not be independent.
Households’ fuel costs and income have been adjusted to take into account differences in household size and composition (known as 'equivalisation').
See the fuel poverty statistics methodology handbook (PDF) to read how equivalisation has been applied to:
- fuel costs (section 5)
- income (section 3)
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 23.2 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.
Annual fuel poverty statistics report: 2019 (2017 data)
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