One in four households trapped in fuel poverty

The number of households in fuel poverty, where at least 10 per cent of income is spent on gas and electricity, rose by 15 per cent to four million in 2014, statistics from the Department for Energy and Climate Change show. A projection for this year suggests there are 6.6 million British homes in fuel poverty, almost treble the number five years ago. Campaigners said ministers would miss their target of removing all households containing the elderly, disabled and poor from fuel poverty by next year. The biggest factor in the increase is the doubling of energy prices since 2002. Responding to these figures, the government announced a four-step plan to help the fuel poor, including forcing suppliers to increase insulation, funding energy efficiency makeovers for 90,000 homes, making social tariffs compulsory and toughening regulation to combat ‘market abuse’.