Today, the Government released new statistics showing that in 2013 the number of English households in fuel poverty was estimated at around 2.35 million* – that’s around 10.4% of households in England.
Whilst the report shows positive steps have been made to help low-income households improve their energy efficiency, CAP feels more needs to be done for the increasing number of fuel poor households on pre-payment meters.
From our research, we found that clients using this energy payment method are suffering twice as much fuel poverty to those using other methods. Instead of being able to access the best deals, often only available by Direct Debit, we found the poorest are forced into paying sometimes hundreds of pounds more on energy every year.
Before seeking help from CAP, among debt clients with pre-payment meters:
- Two thirds (67%) couldn’t heat their homes
- A third (33%) couldn’t cook their food
- Almost a quarter (23%) couldn’t wash their clothes; and
- One in ten (11%) couldn’t afford to wash themselves.
One client said that before CAP, “We didn’t have any heating for two years because we had no money for gas.”
Read more in our report The Poor Pay More.