Fuel poverty


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1. Main facts and figures

  • in the 2 years to March 2019, an average of 10.3% of households in England were in fuel poverty
  • in every period covered by this data, White households were less likely to be in fuel poverty than those from all other ethnic groups combined
  • in the 16 years covered by this data, the percentage of ethnic minority households in fuel poverty went up from 14.5% to 17.7% – it peaked at 20.0% in the 2 years to March 2018

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of households in fuel poverty in England.

A household is classed as being in fuel poverty if both:

  • its fuel costs are above average
  • its disposable income after housing and fuel costs was 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 fuel poverty gap. This shows the reduction in fuel bills that the average fuel-poor household needs to be able to move out of 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.

Households’ 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

Percentage of households in fuel poverty by ethnicity over time
Time White Other than White
% %
2002/04 11.5 14.5
2003/05 11.3 15.5
2004/06 10.8 17.0
2005/07 10.1 17.6
2006/08 10.6 16.3
2007/09 11.0 18.2
2008/10 11.1 19.3
2009/11 10.6 18.6
2010/12 10.4 17.1
2011/13 9.9 17.7
2012/14 9.6 18.1
2013/15 9.8 16.8
2014/16 10.4 15.6
2015/17 10.3 17.1
2016/18 9.7 20.0
2017/19 9.3 17.7

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity over time’ (CSV)

Summary of Fuel poverty By ethnicity over time Summary

The data shows that:

  • in the 2 years to March 2019, an average of 9.3% of White households were in fuel poverty, compared with 17.7% of households in the Other ethnic group (made up of all other ethnic groups combined)
  • in the 16 years covered by the data, the percentage of ethnic minority households in fuel poverty went up from 14.5% to 17.7% – it peaked at 20.0% in the 2 years to March 2018
  • the percentage of White households in fuel poverty has stayed fairly stable, at between 9.3% and 11.5%

4. Data sources


Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Publication frequency


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 - Spreadsheet (csv) 4 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, numerator, denominator with figures for the White, Other than White ethnic groups and All