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 2018 2017 2016 Change 2015-16
Leeds households 34,657 36,926 42,929 -2,269
Leeds % of households 10.3 11.1 13.1 -0.8
England  households 2,400,000 2,532,000 2,551,000 -132,000
England % of households 10.3 11.0 11.1 -0.7
Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change, June 2020

In 2018, the estimated number of households in fuel poverty in Leeds was 34,657. This means 10.3% of all Leeds households were fuel poor. Fuel poverty decreased in Leeds by 2,269 households in the last year.  Nationally, the number of households in fuel poverty was estimated at around 2.4 million, representing approximately 10.3% of all English households and has decreased slightly from 11.0% of households in 2017 – affecting 132,000 less households.

Fuel Poverty by Payment Method

Table 7.2

GAS 2018 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 66.3 222,648 7.7 2,674
Standard credit 10.0 33,727 18.4 6,387
Pre-payment 12.0 40,212 12.2 4,212
n/a = No gas 11.7 39,265 15.7 5,430
 

ELECTRICITY 2018

 

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 74.3 249,475 8.2 2,833
Standard credit 11.7 39,423 18.4 6,368
Pre-payment 14.0 46,954 14.5 5,018
Source: Department of Energy & Climate Change, June 2020

*Leeds figures have been estimated using national proportions on the total no of Leeds households (335,852)

** Leeds figures have been estimated using national proportions on the total no of Leeds’ fuel poor  households (34,657)

According to national analysis, 66.3% of all householders pay their gas bills via direct debit. Using national proportions against Leeds fuel poverty figures, it can be estimated that 222,648 Leeds households pay for their gas by direct debit. 11.7% of households pay their gas bills by standard credit and 14% pay on a pre-payment meter. 11.7% of households are not connected to a gas supply, estimated to affect  39,265 Leeds householders. Of the 34,657 Leeds households in fuel poverty, 2,674 (7.7%) are direct debit customers, 6,368 (18.4%) pay for their gas via standard credit,  4,212 (12.2%) pay by a pre-payment meter and 5,430 (15.7%) have no gas connection.

74.3% of all householders pay their electricity bills via direct debit. Using national proportions, it can be estimated that 249,475 Leeds households pay for their electric by direct debit. 11.7% of households pay their electric bills by standard credit and 14.0% pay on a pre-payment meter. Of the 34,657 fuel poor households in Leeds, 2,833 pay their electricity bills by direct debit; 6,368 pay via standard credit and 5,018 pay by a pre-payment meter.