Back to top

Fuel poverty in the UK: Beyond heating?


Fuel poverty is now widely recognised in the UK as a distinct form of social inequality and injustice, but exactly which energy-uses and services should be incorporated into conceptualisations of fuel poverty is rarely discussed explicitly. In this paper, we investigate how different energy-uses are portrayed as part of fuel poverty by national government and NGOs in the UK. We find that, to some degree, official definitions of fuel poverty in the UK include multiple energy-uses. However, this is not reflected in dominant policy and NGO discourses which predominantly frame fuel poverty as solely a lack of adequate space-heating. We conclude by discussing whether non-heating energy-uses and services should be more fully recognised and incorporated into fuel poverty discourses and policy measures, identifying two areas that warrant further research and debate.