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Wales to be among hardest hit by fuel poverty this winter, study shows

18 Aug 2022 3 minute read
An elderly lady with her electric fire on at home. Picture by Peter Byrne / PA Wire.

Wales will be among the hardest hit of the nations and regions of the UK by fuel poverty this winter, new research has shown.

The new study by the University of York shows that 68.7% of households in Wales are expected to be trapped in fuel poverty by January, compared to the UK average of 65.8%.

London will see the least impact, but even there over half – 56.4% – will be in fuel poverty by January. In Northern Ireland, 76.3% will find themselves in those same conditions.

Overall, an estimated 45 million Britons will be forced into fuel poverty and struggle to pay energy bills this winter, the research found.

Two-thirds of all UK households – or 18 million families – will be plunged into financial precariousness by January due to soaring inflation – which is already at 40-year record high.

The research published by The Guardian newspaper further stated that 86.4% of pensioner couples will fall into fuel poverty. Single parent households with two more more children will bare the brunt at 90.4%.

The shadow secretary of state for climate change and net zero, Ed Miliband, responded to the report by calling for an energy price freeze to address the “national emergency” of inflation.

The Labour MP wrote on Twitter: “These shocking figures show the full scale of the national emergency that could unfold unless the Conservative government acts to freeze energy bills.

“We simply cannot allow the British people to suffer in this way.

“We need an energy price freeze.”

It echoed Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s proposal announced on Monday to freeze the energy price cap at its current level of £1,971 for six months from October, saving the average household £1,000.

‘Backwardation’

The cost-of-living crisis was catapulted further up the agenda in the Conservative leadership election as new figures showed a worse-than-expected hit in July with the Consumer Prices Index inflation (CPI) reaching 10.1%.

Pressure was further applied to the Tory candidates and Government on Wednesday with the resignation of Ofgem director Christine Farnish, who cited concerns the energy regulator was failing to effectively protect struggling households.

Ms Farnish told The Times the watchdog had not “struck the right balance between the interests of consumers and the interests of suppliers”.

The energy regulator has faced criticism in recent months for not doing enough to protect families during the global energy crisis.

It is understood Ms Farnish’s resignation is linked to Ofgem’s decision to change the methodology of the price cap to allow suppliers to recover some of the high energy “backwardation” costs sooner rather than later.


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One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Was there ever any doubt? We will also be the nation least helped from Wasteminster.
It was ever thus.

Rhi
Rhi
1 month ago

“Single parent households with two more more children will bare the brunt at 90.4%.”

Needs a quick edit on this line 😉

Yeah, it’s pretty hard in rural areas like mine where we’ve not got mains gas. That said, I think it’s really important not to fall into the crab bucket trap. While some people will inevitably be worst hit, we can’t lose sight of the fact we’ve all been failed and most are struggling.
Not saying this is what this article is doing at all, but some people do love to martyr by statistic.

Yr2ilun.
Yr2ilun.
1 month ago
Reply to  Rhi

Yes, the ruinous net zero policy really is beginning to fail us all and it has only just started.

Just wait until you get the bill for your heat pump 😉

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Yr2ilun.

Yeah, because reducing pollution is what has caused this 🙄
Honestly! Destabilised fuel prices caused by price fixing and war, a toxic union which shot itself in the foot by divorcing our trading partners who could buy cheaper energy in bulk and a “country” without a captain at the helm doing NOTHING every day as stuff spirals out of control and YOU think the problem is carbon reduction.

Nini
Nini
1 month ago

Poor choice of photograph to illustrate the issue. A freezing cold pensioner wouldn’t be sitting with bare arms in front of a heater.

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
1 month ago

What to expect, a country built over coal deposits, with some gas and oil off it’s coast.
Welcome to Green Wales.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  I Humphrys

Control of our resources, and not leaving it to someone in London, who does not give a toss for us, would go a long way to correcting this current situation.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago
Reply to  I Humphrys

If successive UK Governments had green lit the Cardiff tidal bay and the Swansea tidal bay projects we wouldn’t need to use fossil fuels, but the Energy business is run gangsters. They have successfully lobbied successive UK Governments not to green light the largest green energy schemes in order to maintain their money making machines. Regardless of whether it’s Westminster or Cardiff Bay managing Wales’ energy sector, we need to to back control from these gangsters and provide clean and affordable energy for ourselves. By doing so we will encourage others to do it and stop the worst damage from… Read more »

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