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Definition of Fuel Poverty

The Government defines fuel poverty as the need to spend more than 10% of household income to achieve adequate levels of warmth in the home and meet their other energy needs. Adequate warmth is defined as 21oC/23oC in the main living areas and 18oC in other areas.

‘Affordable warmth’ is often regarded as the reverse of fuel poverty, i.e. it describes the situation in which households do not need to spend more than 10% of income to achieve adequate warmth. However, the affordability of running appliances is also an important consideration. This is because appliances account for a growing proportion of households’ energy budgets and because low income households tend to use older and more inefficient appliances.