Section 7: Fuel Poverty

Fuel Poverty Low Income High Cost Definition

Fuel poverty in England is now measured by the Low Income High Costs definition, which considers a household to be fuel poor if they have required fuel costs that are above average (the national median level) and; were they to spend that amount, they would be left with a residual income below the official poverty line.

Table 7.1

Fuel Poverty LIHC 2016 2015 2014 Change 2015-16
Leeds households 42,929 43,871 38,613 -942
Leeds % of households 13.1 13.5 11.9 -0.4
England  households 2,551,000 2,502,000 2,378,900 +49,000
England % of households 11.1 11.0 10.6 +0.1
Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change, June 2018

In 2016, the estimated number of households in fuel poverty in Leeds was 42,929. This means 13.1% of all Leeds households were fuel poor. Fuel poverty decreased in Leeds by 942 households in the last year.  Nationally, the number of households in fuel poverty was estimated at around 2.55 million, representing approximately 11.1% of all English households and has increased slightly from 11.0% of households in 2015 – affecting 49,000 more households.

Fuel Poverty by Payment Method

Table 7.2

GAS 2016 Proportion of all Households Estimated number of households Proportion of all Fuel Poor Households Estimated number of Fuel Poor Households
England (%) Leeds* England (%) Leeds**
Direct debit 64.5 212,059 7.2 3,091
Standard credit 11.0 36,303 15.6 6,684
Pre-payment 12.0 39,446 23.1 9,912
n/a = No gas 12.4 40,732 15.8 6,766
 

ELECTRICITY 2016

 

Proportion of all Households Estimated number of households Proportion of all Fuel Poor Households Estimated number of Fuel Poor Households
England (%) Leeds* England (%) Leeds **
Direct debit 72.3 237,389 7.8 3,331
Standard credit 12.8 42,046 15.7 6,723
Pre-payment 14.9 49,104 23.3 9,994
Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change, June 2018

*Leeds figures have been estimated using national proportions on the total no of Leeds households (328,539)

** Leeds figures have been estimated using national proportions on the total no of Leeds’ fuel poor  households (42,929)

According to national analysis, 64.5% of all householders pay their gas bills via direct debit. Using national proportions against Leeds fuel poverty figures, it can be estimated that 212,059 Leeds households pay for their gas by direct debit. 11% of households pay their gas bills by standard credit and 12% pay on a pre-payment meter. 12.4% of households are not connected to a gas supply, estimated to affect 40,732 Leeds householders. Of the 42,929 Leeds households in fuel poverty, 3,091 (7.2%) are direct debit customers, 6,684 (15.6%) pay for their gas via standard credit, 9,912 (23.1%) pay by a pre-payment meter and 6,766 (15.8%) have no gas connection.

72.3% of all householders pay their electricity bills via direct debit. Using national proportions, it can be estimated that 237,389 Leeds households pay for their electric by direct debit. 12.8% of households pay their gas bills by standard credit and 14.9% pay on a pre-payment meter. Of the 40,732 fuel poor households in Leeds, 3,331 pay their electricity bills by direct debit; 6,723 pay via standard credit and 9,994 pay by a pre-payment meter.