In a shaming indictment of the failure of the Government and energy suppliers to tackle the rising tide of fuel poverty hitting the UK’s vulnerable people, Britain this week came bottom of a league table for western Europe.
According to figures from the Association for the Conservation for Energy and the Energy Bill Revolution campaign, British households are hit by the woeful levels of insulation in our homes.
Although most other European countries actually face higher energy prices than those of the UK, better-quality home insulation means our European neighbours pay less to heat their homes.
Some five million UK households, or 19.2 per cent of the total, are now in fuel poverty, according to the report.
A household is considered to be in fuel poverty if more than 10 per cent of its total income is spent on adequate heating.
That total puts the UK squarely at the bottom of the league table, a long way behind table-toppers the Netherlands, which has a reported 8.1 per cent in fuel poverty. Belgium also has less than 10 per cent of households in fuel poverty while Sweden and Austria both have less than 12 per cent.
The closest rival to the UK’s woeful record is France, with 16.2 per cent of households in fuel poverty.