Energy crisis UK: 18 areas with most fuel poverty ‘hotspots’ - with families forking out 20% of income on their bills
These 18 councils across England and Wales are being worst affected by the energy crisis, according to new research by Friends of the Earth.
Analysis out today (20 March) by environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth, shows that despite financial support from the government, millions are living in fuel poverty, with some being pushed into extreme levels of hardship.
Thousands of fuel poverty hotspots – small neighbourhoods with a particularly pronounced problem – were identified by the charity across England and Wales, highlighting vast inequalities across the country. Of the 331 local councils across the two countries, just over a quarter had no hotspots identified, while 73% had at least one. One major city in the West Midlands was found to have 300, far more than any other part of England and Wales. On average local authorities have 10 fuel poverty hotspots each.
Regionally, the West Midlands was found to be hardest hit by the energy crisis. The region has 809 hotspots in total, representing 23.2% of all neighbourhoods in the area. This was followed by the North East with 632, representing 14.1% of all neighbourhoods in the region and then Yorkshire and the Humber with 490, 14.8% of all neighbourhoods.
A household is living in fuel poverty when more than 10% of its disposable income is spent on energy bills. Friends of the Earth found 1 in 5 households were living in fuel poverty in England and Wales, equating to around 5 million households. Over a million were also found to be facing severe levels of hardship and spending more than 20% of their disposable income on energy bills, pushing them into what is classed as extreme fuel poverty.
The charity used official fuel, living costs and income data and factored in predicted energy price rises and government financial support to produce the research.
Here we reveal the 18 local authorities with the greatest proportion of neighbourhoods classed as fuel poverty hotspots.