More than half of households in the UK, or 15 million people, will have been pushed into fuel poverty by January 2023, according to a new report authored by University of York academics. They will on average be spending £37.51 above the 10 per cent threshold.
The report predicts that, even with the £400 fuel rebate being offered by the government, 58.5% of households will be plunged into fuel poverty in Yorkshire and the Humber, 47.5% in London and 71.7% in Northern Ireland. Over 80 per cent of large families, lone parents and pensioner couples will be in fuel poverty.
People living in the poorest and coldest regions of the UK will be the worst affected along with those who are already most likely to be struggling with the cost of living. More than 80% of large families, lone parents and pensioner couples will be in fuel poverty, the authors of the report have calculated.
Fuel poverty is defined as having to spend over 10% of net income on fuel. The report estimates that households living in fuel poverty will be spending on average £37.51 above this 10% threshold per month.
The electricity and gas price cap will rise again in October 2022 and again in January 2023. The size of the increase has not yet been announced but it is expected to take average electricity and gas bills to £64.59 per week (£3,359 per year). It is also expected that the electricity and gas price cap will be raised again in January to £69.53 per week (£3,615.75 per year). Some predict much larger increases. The £400 rebate will mitigate these amounts over the period October 2022 to April 2023 by just £15.38 per week.
This assessment takes account of the £400 mitigation which is going to be credited monthly from October 2022 to April 2023 to all households, but not the other mitigations for means-tested benefit recipients, pensioners and people with disabilities which are being paid this year.