With large numbers of households in Lambeth living in fuel poverty and a high level of long-term illness, many people are at risk. We are committed to tackling fuel poverty in the borough and to reducing the impact of cold weather on the health of our most vulnerable residents.
What is fuel poverty?
Fuel poverty in England is measured using the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator. Under the LILEE indicator, a household is fuel poor if:
- they are living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band D or below;
- when they spend the required amount to heat their home, they are left with a residual income below the official poverty line.
There are three important elements in determining whether a household is fuel poor:
- household income;
- household energy requirements;
- fuel prices.
What causes fuel poverty?
Households may be unable to afford adequate warmth due to several factors:
- Inefficient heating systems;
- Poor condition of the property and Inadequate insultation;
- High fuel tariffs;
- Income below the poverty line;
- Lack of access to information by the households, or inadequate circulation of information by the relevant authorities.
Who can be affected by fuel poverty?
Any household can be affected by fuel poverty. Although, the private rented sector has the highest levels of fuel poverty in England in comparison to the social rented sector and owner-occupiers which has the lowest levels of fuel poverty. However, the following groups are more vulnerable to fuel poverty than others:
- People on low income, or who are unemployed;
- Older people over the age of 60;
- Lone parents that care for children;
- People with disabilities and long term health conditions.
Fuel poverty can cause a number of health problems ranging from mental health, childhood asthma and excess winter deaths. Excess winter deaths are when the number of people who die during the four coldest months of the winter (November to March) is higher than the average numbers of deaths recorded during the four months before, and the four months after.