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A Review of the Literature on Fuel Poverty with a Focus on Ireland


Fuel poverty has become a more prescient issue in recent years, both due to harsher winters and the economic downturn, which has made heating the home more difficult for many. Fuel poverty is sensitive to energy prices and also has a capital component linked to the energy efficiency of the home and its appliances. In 2013, 16 % of Irish individuals were recorded as being deprived of heating in the previous year, while 10 % were recorded as being unable to keep the home adequately warm. The data shows that fuel poverty has increased markedly since 2009. In this article, we review the literature on fuel poverty including the definition and measurement of fuel poverty, as well as the impacts on health and well-being. We also examine current policy initiatives aimed at alleviating fuel poverty and this is undertaken with a special focus on Ireland.