Fuel Poverty, Cold Homes and Health Inequalities in the UK

This is the third review of fuel poverty and cold homes from the Institute of Health Equity, following on from the briefing commissioned by PHE in 2014 the report commissioned by Friends of the Earth in 2011.

This report comes at a crucial time as poverty and inflation increase rapidly; 55% of UK households are forecast to fall into fuel poverty by January 2023 without additional interventions, risking far greater damage to health and higher rates of death associated with living in a cold home. Households with children as well as those on low incomes, living with disabilities and Black and Minority Ethnic groups are most at risk.

This report reviews the evidence on both the direct and indirect impacts of fuel poverty and cold homes on health; the inequalities in who this effects the most, and the relation between health inequalities and climate change. The report makes the case for prioritising reducing fuel poverty through policy suggestions at both the national and local level.