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Fuel Prices

House of Lords written question – answered on 24th January 2011.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of the impact of the rises in fuel bills on low-income families.

Photo of Lord Marland Lord Marland The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change

The coalition Government recognise the impact of rising fuel prices on low income and vulnerable households and is committed to helping the poorest heat their homes at an affordable cost.

The department publishes annual statistics which assess the level of fuel poverty in England. Fuel prices have risen at a rate well above that of income since 2004, acting as a major contributor to the rise in fuel poverty. Between 2004 and 2008, domestic energy prices rose by around 80 per cent, during which period the number of fuel poor households in England rose from 1.2 million in 2004 to 3.3 million in 2008.

These statistics are available on the DECC website and the latest set was published in October 2010.

Using this information the department has estimated that:

In England in 2008 the number of households with a child under 16 was 5,716,000, 907,000 of these households were in the lowest three income deciles. Of the households with a child under 16, 539,000 were fuel poor and 394,000 of these fuel poor households were in the lowest three income deciles.In England in 2007 the number of households with a child under 16 was 6,122,000, 974,000 of these households were in the lowest three income deciles. Of the households with a child under 16, 479,000 were fuel poor and 361,000 of these fuel poor households were in the lowest three income deciles.

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