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Fuel Poverty is an Increasing Problem for UK Households

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Fuel Poverty is an Increasing Problem for UK Households

By Ruth MacEachern

Product Manager

Nov 08, 2021

As of 2021, some 4 million UK households were classed as fuel poor.  While this is down from the 6.4 million households in the same situation a decade ago, fast rising energy prices could push more households into a situation of fuel poverty where the household needs to spend more 10% of annual income to keep the home in a warm condition.

So far in 2021, wholesale gas prices have more than doubled, and this is increasingly being passed onto consumers.  Despite caps in price being set by the government, a lack of discounts on energy deals mean that households are starting to feel the pinch and may struggle to heat their homes effectively during the frosty winter months.

Fuel poverty is caused by three factors:                                  

  • The cost of energy
  • Household income
  • A lack of energy efficiency in the home

While the problem can affect any household, pensioners are more vulnerable to falling into fuel poverty because although they may consume less energy overall, their income tends to be fixed and smaller than a larger household.

Energy costs can normally be addressed by seeking out lower prices from different providers, but with few opportunities to save at present, the main way of reducing fuel bills is to make homes more energy efficient.

Taking steps such as installing LED bulbs to replace older incandescent and compact fluorescent lights can help to reduce electricity consumption, as can ensuring that appliances are unplugged and switched off when not in use, but in order to make your home as energy efficient as possible, you will need to look at ways to reduce heat loss.

Insulation and double-glazing help to reduce heat loss, but they have the effect of making the house airtight.  This is useful in preventing energy waste, but it also leads to a build up of stale and humid air that can lead to condensation, damp and mould which is damaging to property and residents’ health.

Damp affects homeowners and property managers alike.  Asset managers with responsibility for substantial amounts of housing stock often find that the colder months of the year result in many callouts to deal with the damp caused by condensation.

With this in mind, it is essential that the steps taken to insulate a property are balanced with actions to maintain airflow through good ventilation, or the work to reduce the impact of fuel and energy costs are outweighed by the physical costs of damp and health costs of mould.

By combining ventilation with heat recovery through a whole house MVHR system or a single room heat recovery unit (SRHR) such as EnviroVent’s heatSava, homeowners can avoid heat loss through ventilation systems while maintaining a well-insulated home that reduces waste.

Find Out More

If you are concerned about the impact of rising energy prices and want to find out more about how ventilation can be coupled with heat recovery to prevent waste, please contact us today to book a home survey from one of our local specialists.  They can assess your property and provide advice about what solution might be best for you.

Need help with condensation, mould or damp problems?

One of our local experts will contact you to learn more about your problems, offer free expert advice and make recommendations for a permanent solution.

During the free survey we will

  • check Assess any condensation, damp or mould problems in your property
  • check Take readings of the relative humidity levels
  • check Identify any underlying problems and make recommendations for a permanent solution

Arrange a FREE Home Survey now