1. Main facts and figures
- in 2016, 11% (2.55 million households) of all households in England were in fuel poverty – to be in fuel poverty, a household must be paying more than average for fuel, and be under the poverty line when fuel costs are taken into account
- in every year from 2003 to 2016, White households were less likely to be living in fuel poverty than 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
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 rounded to the nearest percentage.
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy
Purpose of data source
The main purposes of fuel poverty statistics (based on survey data) are to:
- give a comprehensive view on current trends in fuel poverty in England
- let government measure its progress in meeting its statutory fuel poverty target for households in England
The fuel poverty target is to improve the energy efficiency rating of fuel-poor households to a minimum rating of band C by 2030.
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, numerator, denominator