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New research exploring the challenges faced by fuel poor households in winter 2022 to 2023

The research, which was conducted by London Economics Limited, provides a detailed and up to date understanding of the challenges faced by fuel poor households last winter when making decisions around fuel consumption.

The report seeks to answer 2 key questions: what challenges do fuel poor households face regarding energy bill affordability, and how were fuel poor households using energy over the winter of 2022 to 2023.

By using a combination of a Rapid Evidence Assessment, workshops with industry experts and frontline energy advisors, and online research (analysing posts on online forums – MumsNet and Reddit – and analysing Google Trends), this report explores these 2 questions.

Chair of the Committee on Fuel Poverty, Caroline Flint, said:

We welcome this report which provides a timely insight into the challenges facing fuel poor households last winter and the difficult decisions they are facing around the current cost of living.

This research provides up to date evidence on the lived experience of fuel poor households last winter and the challenges they face. It highlights the importance of energy efficiency in reducing fuel poverty in the long term. This report is essential reading for anyone concerned by the current cost of living crisis and the steps we need to take to tackle fuel poverty.

The research was carried out over January to March 2023 and explored the following topics.

  • challenges facing fuel poor households: the research examined the different challenges faced by those households in fuel poverty including affordability of energy, health and wellbeing, and food and nutrition and the links between these challenges
  • impact on specific groups: by recognising that fuel poverty affects different people in different ways, the research explored the impact on specific groups and how some groups are more affected by fuel poverty
  • challenges and coping strategies in the winter of 2022 to 2023: the research looked at the different coping strategies used by households over the winter of 2022 to 2023. Households in fuel poverty were using more unconventional – and more dangerous – heating and lighting methods to avoid using energy compared to previous winters. Workshop participants also noted the increase in self-disconnection
  • government support and future support: the research explored the strengths and weaknesses of existing support – both short term help for households and longer term energy efficiency improvements – based on feedback from workshop participants and the literature. The research also considered what further support could be implemented
  • areas to explore further: the research also set out a number of potential options for consideration by the Committee and government

More information

Read the report: Understanding the challenges faced by fuel poor households.

The Committee on Fuel Poverty is an advisory non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero. The Committee is responsible for advising on the effectiveness of policies aimed at reducing fuel poverty and encouraging greater co-ordination across the organisations working to reduce fuel poverty.

See further information about the Committee.

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