COST OF LIVING CRISIS: More than 12,000 Peterborough households had plunged into fuel poverty ahead of energy price hike

Concerns grow that many more people will struggle to make ends meet

By Paul Grinnell
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 4:00 pm

More than 12,000 households in Peterborough were in fuel poverty even before the national energy crisis began, according to new figures.

The statistics comes from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and have prompted concern that even more people will suffer as energy bills soar in future months.

The most recent figures show that 12,065 households in Peterborough were in fuel poverty in 2020 meaning 14.9 per cent of people lived in a property with an energy efficiency rating of band D or below and, after heating their home, had a residual income below the official poverty line.

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A generic stock image of a gas ring on a home cooker in London.

Now the End Fuel Poverty Coalition has warned many more people will struggle to afford rocketing bills this year after the energy price cap rose by 54 per cent in April and the war in Ukraine led to an increase in wholesale oil prices.

The price cap hike means many households can expect to pay around £700 more per year on their bills.

The annual limit on tariffs is due to rise again in October, and Michael Lewis, chief executive of energy company EON UK, recently warned MPs that between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of people in Britain could end up in fuel poverty.

He added that customers' debts could rise by 50 per cent or around £800 million.

Simon Francis, from the End Fuel Poverty Coalition, said the 2020 figures show "just how significant the Government's failure to tackle fuel poverty has been" and estimated more than six million households in England are now in fuel poverty.

"The impact of measures taken pre-pandemic has barely shifted the dial – and we know very little has been done since 2020 to change the picture.

"We need urgent help for households in fuel poverty now combined with a long-term plan to improve energy efficiency of our homes and a sustainable, renewable-led, energy mix."

A Government spokesperson said: "We are investing over £6.6 billion this parliament and working directly with local authorities to further boost energy efficiency in homes across the UK, which remains the best long-term method to keep household energy costs down.”

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