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Rising electricity prices are forcing Britain’s poorest to underheat their homes

April 24, 2019

By Paul Homewood



According to the fuel poverty report recently released by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), nearly 70% of UK households are heating their houses less than is required to meet the levels thought necessary to deliver comfort and health.

Those on lower incomes are “under-consuming” by a larger margin than those on higher incomes, with only the top richest decile consuming more than the estimated requirement.

The poorest households were under-consuming by the largest margin, and it is in this category that those most vulnerable to policy costs, the 2.2 million UK households using electric heating, are concentrated, particularly in rented accommodation.

Estimated UK household underspend on energy by income decile. Source: BEIS, “Comparison of Theoretical Energy Consumption with Actual Usage”, Energy Trends (March 2019), 72.


The findings call into question the Chancellor’s recently announced decision to begin phasing out gas fired central heating in the UK from 2025.

Dr John Constable, the GWPF’s energy editor, said:

“We have long known that energy and climate policies were regressive and damaging to the poor. Government’s own data is now illustrating the facts, showing that those on the lowest incomes, who often have no alternatives to electric heating, simply cannot afford to keep warm. That is deeply unjust, and government should take corrective steps immediately, as well as reconsidering its long term policy to force the whole country towards electric heating.”

Further information:

Dr John Constable: Fuel poverty and electricity policy costs

  1. marlene permalink
    April 24, 2019 1:47 pm

    Here in the US, my electricity bill is my largest bill – and I conserve as much as possible and have few electric appliances!!

  2. April 24, 2019 2:07 pm

    Nothing on the BBC about this yet. i’m sure Harrabin will cover it soon.

  3. April 24, 2019 2:46 pm

    This should make Sir Attenborough pleased as he wants more people to die. Funny how these folks never take their own advice.

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      April 24, 2019 11:02 pm

      If you look at the 10th decile (highest income) in the graph you will see why he feels warm and happy with the situation.

      • April 25, 2019 12:29 pm

        We have a President who is a billionaire by his own efforts. He is constantly advocating for the “forgotten people.” Those would be people such as myself who live between the East and West Coasts. They would be the veterans, the coal miners, steel workers and other manufacturing areas. Those of us who earned our college degrees from places such as West Virginia University and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, instead of Harvard, Yale or Stanford.

        Is it any wonder that we, the real people, love him while the self-anointed elite such as Sir Attenborough disdain us and our President? When you are raised to do honorable work, respect those who contract with or otherwise work for you and treat all people equally, you get President Donald Trump. When you are raised to be an elite, always looking down your nose at those whom you view as your lessers, you get Sir Attenborough.

  4. Ian permalink
    April 24, 2019 3:09 pm

    The hypocricy of it all. MPs queuing up to be seen with St Greta whilst also lauding Boo-Hoo’s business model.

  5. Tom O permalink
    April 24, 2019 6:31 pm

    Imagine – and it doesn’t take much imagination – forcing everyone from any direct carbon based heat to complete reliance on electricity. Then imagine an electric grid completely supplied by “renewables” and interconnectors from the continent. Then imagine the interconnector failing during a cold snap, with winds too strong to allow the wind generators to produce and the cloud cover minimizing solar.

    Then imagine the grid going black as the overload drops it. How many people will end up freezing to death during the 5 to 7 days it takes to bring the grid back up, if they can, and you KNOW it won’t be the poor districts brought back on line first. If you can imagine that, then you can already see the worst nightmare you face after 2025 – if it takes that long.

  6. Athelstan. permalink
    April 24, 2019 7:13 pm

    Cold kills, the HMG know it, phase out gas, the nation is fubar.

    Why is Britain the only really plane stupid nation on the planet?

    and because of our poitical class, if a child with Aspergers can tell ’em what to do, then the end cannot be very far away.

    Hurry up Nigel, the country needs you to clear out the den of stupidity aka Parliament.

  7. Athelstan. permalink
    April 24, 2019 7:14 pm

    And erm another thing Paul…………

    Why do my comments come up straight away and at other times disappear into the Eeee ether?

    • April 24, 2019 9:44 pm

      If there’s lots of links, it goes into pending, but sometimes WordPress has a mind of its own!

      • Athelstan. permalink
        April 25, 2019 12:19 am

        surely Paul, I ain’t having a go at you (no way) – just havin’ a grump.

  8. April 24, 2019 7:16 pm

    Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  9. Stonyground permalink
    April 24, 2019 8:32 pm

    Recently there have been radio ads for an energy supplier that strongly imply that they can provide 100% renewable. This is obviously untrue but I think that they are avoiding actual lying using clever wording.

  10. Harry Passfield permalink
    April 24, 2019 9:25 pm

    The father is saying: ‘No, it’s ‘cos of them green taxes’.
    What he meant was, it’s because of them taxing Greens.
    They really have found a way to tax the air that we breathe.

  11. Chilli permalink
    April 24, 2019 9:56 pm

    The trouble with reports like this is they won’t cause politicians to rethink their climate-hysteria-based energy policy. No no – that would mean admitting they were wrong. Instead they will respond by forcing energy companies to provided free power to the poor – at the expense of ordinary bill payers. So we’ll end up with a situation similar to income tax – where the poor don’t pay any – so they have no incentive to vote for parties with sensible energy and tax policies. Instead the poor will vote to receive ever more largesse from the shrinking portion of productive citizens who do pay tax and do pay full price for their electricity. This is how you hollow-out an economy and drive jobs & prosperity overseas.

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    April 25, 2019 10:37 am

    Ironic that it is a government report that points out their policy failing but as Chilli says, politicians especially of the left can never admit failure. Given that the energy companies are private, they can always cease supply so it is more likely that a new subsidy will be created to help those who can’t afford the inflated electricity cost created by subsidies.

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