What is fuel poverty?
If households are paying more than 10%
of their income on keeping warm (keeping living areas at a
temperature of 18-21 degrees Celsius), they are living in fuel
poverty. It is likely to be a growing problem for our
Why are our residents vulnerable to fuel poverty?
The energy efficiency of our homes is higher
than in the private sector but…
- The price of energy
has doubled in the last ten years and is set to continue
- A high proportion of people
vulnerable to fuel poverty live in social housing.
This includes people aged over 65, the disabled, long-term sick,
unemployed, people on low incomes and households with very young
children. These households tend to spend a large proportion of
their time at home (have to heat their properties for longer), may
be less active, have lower incomes and have medical conditions
which make them more susceptible to the cold.
How big is the problem?
- 20% of households in the UK
are fuel poor.
- 71% of unemployed are in
fuel poverty – our residents are twice as likely to be
unemployed/looking for work compared to the national average.
- 36% of single person
households are fuel poor – 60% of our residents are single person
households which is twice the national average.
- 41% of single person
households aged over 60 are living in fuel poverty – 20% of our
homes are occupied by single persons aged over 60.
- In our super survey of over
1,000 of our residents, 21% reported that they found it difficult
to heat their home when it is cold outside.
What is Affinity Sutton doing about it?
To cover all elements of fuel poverty, we are
committed to taking a three strand approach:
- We are committed to improving
the efficiency of our homes – through improving our existing homes
and adopting increasing standards in our new builds.
- We are helping residents to
use the energy in their homes as efficiently and affordably as
possible though our EnergyFit toolkit. This is because fuel poverty
can be also be affected by behaviour in the home.
- We are helping our residents
to increase their disposable income through better managing their
expenditure and maximising their income. This is being delivered
through our financial inclusion, Ready2Work and welfare support
To better understand which of our residents
might be in fuel poverty we are gathering information so
that we can target our resources specifically to those at greatest
In 2012 Affinity Sutton was named
Social Housing Provider of the
Year for our Innovative Approach to Green Homes by
Sustainable Housing magazine. This award recognises our commitment
to improving the sustainability of our homes, including FutureFit; Graylingwell Park; Improving our
Estates project; and the launch of EnergyFit.
- We recognise the growing
issue of fuel poverty, particularly within the social housing
sector, and are working to identify which of our residents are most
vulnerable to fuel poverty.
- We know that many of our
residents struggle to heat their homes during cold weather and we
recognise that with fuel prices set to increase that it will become
a growing issue.
- We are taking a three-strand
approach to tackling fuel poverty among our residents: Improving
the energy efficiency of our homes; helping our residents to use
the energy in their homes more effectively; and helping to
alleviate poverty through our financial inclusion, Ready2Work
and welfare support teams.
- In 2012 Affinity Sutton was
named Social Housing Provider of the Year for its Innovative
Approach to Green Homes.