The proportion of households in the borough of Rochdale estimated to be in fuel poverty in 2020 was 15.3 per cent. This is above the England rate of 13.2 per cent (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy).
What impact does fuel poverty have on health?
Living at low temperatures is strongly linked with a range of negative health outcomes (Marmot review, 2010) ranging from cardiovascular and respiratory problems to depression. Evidence has shown that the drivers of fuel poverty such as low income, poor energy efficiency and energy prices are closely linked to living in a cold home.
An independent fuel poverty review in 2012 suggested that 1 in 10 excess winter deaths are caused by fuel poverty and most of these deaths occur in people aged 75 and over. Older people make up a large proportion of those living in fuel poverty, with over a quarter of fuel poor households having a resident over the age of 60.
How is fuel poverty measured?
Fuel poverty is measured using the Low Income High Costs (LIHC) indicator. In this methodology, households are classified as being fuel poor if they have required fuel costs that are above the national average and, were they to spend that amount, would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.
The key elements in determining whether a household is fuel poor or not are income, fuel prices and fuel consumption which is dependent on the dwelling characteristics and the lifestyle of the household.
Statistics on fuel poverty
- Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy - Fuel poverty statistics - the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy produces annual statistics on fuel poverty that are published on the government's website. This indicator collection includes data on the number and type of houses that are fuel poor as well as trend data.
- Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) - Older people's health and wellbeing profile - the Older People's Health and Wellbeing Profile can be used to examine the health and care of older people. It is designed to support those responsible for delivering strategies for prevention and early intervention to improve the health and wellbeing of older adults.
Guidance on fuel poverty
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance - Excess winter deaths and illness and the health risks associated with cold homes - NICE has produced guidance on excess winter deaths that covers reducing the health risks, including preventable deaths, associated with living in a cold home. It aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people vulnerable to the cold.