300,000 more British households face fuel poverty by xmas

300k more UK families face fuel poverty

Mon, 17 Dec 2012 10:56:38 GMT

Around 300,000 more British households could be in fuel poverty by Christmas amid spiraling energy prices, a government advisory group says.

The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG) has warned that 300,000 more homes can be pushed into fuel poverty this Christmas compared to last year.

The warning comes as soaring energy prices have added almost seven percent to average annual fuel bills recently.

The average annual energy bill has risen to £1,247 for direct debit customers and £1,336 for cash and cheque customers.

“With a cold winter, welfare reforms cutting incomes, and all at a time of austerity measures and other rising household costs, the plight of the fuel poor has never been more serious,” said FPAG chairman Derek Lickorish.

Fuel poor is defined as families having to spend more than 10 percent of their incomes on keeping their homes warm.

Pensioners constitute nearly half of Britain’s fuel poor families.

Moreover, a third of fuel poor households have people as their members with a disability or illness while a fifth have a child aged five or less.

This is while British Energy Secretary Ed Davey is to remind energy companies, at the Fair Energy summit planned for Monday, of new rules that require more transparency regarding the reason why electricity and gas bills are rising.

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