Fuel poverty is caused by low income, high fuel prices, poor energy efficiency, unaffordable housing and poor quality private rental housing.
Energy use is rising as people stay at home more, incomes are being squeezed and improvements in energy efficiency of housing are on hold.
This means the numbers in fuel poverty are set to soar.
There are already 2.4m households in fuel poverty many of whom are now in severe distress.
Fuel poverty is set to rocket as Bank of England forecasts predict a worsening economy. ONS data suggests there is a working population of 34.2m in UK (i.e. excluding economically inactive people) of which 1.29m (3.98%) are unemployed. 9% of this is 3.08m. Therefore the additional numbers unemployed will be 1.79m.
Over 30% of households where someone is unemployed are fuel poor.
Energy bills have jumped 37% due to stay at home / work from home measures in place. And this is likely to be an underestimate as as lockdown Wave 1 took place during warm weather.
This means hundreds of thousands more people will be in or at risk of fuel poverty and the worst effects of Covid-19 unless urgent action is taken. The End Fuel Poverty Coalition will be publishing more data on this in due course.
The actions needed to prevent this disaster are simple and clear.