What is Fuel Poverty and is Help Available? - thumbnail image

What is Fuel Poverty and is Help Available?

You may have heard the term fuel poverty being used in coverage about the ongoing cost of living crisis and significant increases in energy prices we have seen recently. But what does it actually mean to be in fuel poverty and how is our work, including installing solar panels in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne relevant? We’re about to answer these questions and more… 


What is Fuel Poverty?


There seem to be multiple definitions and indicators of Fuel Poverty. However, it usually relates to households that struggle to afford to keep their homes warm and use electricity. 


The system in England for defining fuel poverty is the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator. A person is in fuel poverty based on this indicator if their home has an EPC rating of D or lower and their level of income below the poverty line once they have paid for the necessary energy to heat their home. 


Before the current energy crisis came into play, roughly 15% of Northern households were in fuel poverty. This was above the national average of 12%. The problem has of course become even more prominent in recent months unfortunately. 


I’m in Fuel Poverty. Is there help available? 


If you are living with fuel poverty or are just struggling with the cost of living there is help available. Some schemes may be subject to eligibility but if you are unsure, it is always worth asking someone so that you don’t miss out. 


The government has rolled out a Help for Households campaign which includes advice on saving energy and signposts people to services that might help them such as help with covering childcare costs. 


At Thrift Energy Group, we are keen to help people living in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and the rest of the North East who are living in fuel poverty. We work hard to source funding opportunities and grants which will help people to upgrade their home’s heating for free or a fraction of the price. 


Some of the current schemes we are taking part in are the Local Authority Delivery Scheme, Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, Local Authority Eligibility Flexibility and the home Upgrade Grant. These opportunities may help your household to access heavily reduced or free upgrades and installations for solar PV, air source heat pumps, insulation and boilers. 


To learn more about the schemes, and if you’re eligible, you can either visit the Funding section of our website or call our team on 0800 689 3415.


How can I help other people with fuel poverty?


We know that even if you aren’t in fuel poverty, you are probably still having to watch the pennies more than ever. However, if you do want to help others in a less fortunate position there are things that you can do. 


You might want to consider donating food and other essentials to food banks and shelters. Alternatively, if you can give your time by volunteering for such organisations. 


Some councils and community spaces are offering warm banks over the colder months so you could also consider seeing if any of these initiatives are looking for donations or volunteers. 


Regularly checking in with vulnerable members of your community to make sure they are warm enough and have enough to eat is another option. Where possible, you might  want to consider supporting local businesses too. This is because employees and the people running these businesses may be struggling to make a living after the business energy costs are paid. 

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