The UK Government has released new data showing the most recent fuel poverty statistics in England, up to December 2021.
Fuel poverty in England is measured using the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator. This takes into account household income, energy requirements and fuel prices.
Those in homes with an EPC rating of C or above are not counted as fuel poor no matter their income or energy costs.
The data shows that in Barnsley, 17.3 percent of our residents live in fuel poverty, compared to the national rate of 13.1 percent.
In last year’s figures, which used 2020 data, the Barnsley rate was 19.2 percent against a national rate of 13.2 percent.
This means that we are seeing a reduced number of residents in fuel poverty. Even though our figure is currently higher than the England average, we’re closing the gap.
We know that there are three key ways to address fuel poverty:
- Making a home more energy efficient
- Accessing cheaper energy
- Income maximisation
As energy prices are all around the same price at the moment, it’s not always an option to access cheaper energy by changing suppliers; however, there are ways that the council is assisting people, which is having an impact.
Support available includes:
- Warm Homes Service – help to apply for our grants that are available for free boilers and insulation to make your home warmer and advice and support on energy debt. (gov.uk/services/housing/energy-at-home/make-your-home-warmer-and-cheaper-to-run/)
- More Money in Your Pocket, our online support hub for the cost-of-living crisis, which has been visited by 81k unique users - some 33% of the Barnsley population. (barnsley.gov.uk/services/advice-benefits-and-council-tax/help-with-the-rising-cost-of-living/
Businesses and community groups have also been encouraged to join up to Barnsley’s Affordable Warmth Charter, which offers them the chance to share knowledge, skills and resources to tackle the health inequalities caused by fuel poverty. (barnsley.gov.uk/services/our-council/our-strategies/barnsley-cold-weather-plan-202223/)
Julia Burrows, Executive Director of Public Health and Communities, said: “We will continue to work across the borough with our partners to address fuel poverty through our cold weather collaborative plan and stay well this winter campaign. More information on this can be found on our website at barnsley.gov.uk/ready-for-winter/stay-well-this-winter/”