How many households are living in fuel poverty in our areas?
- Credit: Archant
Fuel poverty is on the rise, with consumers facing soaring energy bills, rising food prices and a £20 cut to Universal Credit.
A household is considered to be fuel poor if they live in a property with low energy efficiency and would be pushed below the poverty line by housing costs and the energy bills required to have a warm, well-lit home.
In 2019 - the latest figures available - there were 6,677 households in fuel poverty in South Cambs out of a total of 64,768 households, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
This means that 10.3 per cent of households in South Cambs are considered to be fuel poor.
The area of South Cambs with the lowest proportion of households in fuel poverty is Shelford, with 19 out of 608, while the highest is Melbourn with 139 out of 534.
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Out of 57,680 households in North Herts, 6,983 were living in fuel poverty in 2019 - or 12.1 per cent.
The area of North Herts with the lowest proportion of households in fuel poverty is Chesfield, with 24 out of 575, while the highest is Letchworth South West with 151 out of 548.
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Meanwhile the number of recipients of winter fuel payments has decreased in both areas over the past 10 years.
Households with someone receiving a state pension are automatically entitled to a tax-free sum of between £100 and £300 each year towards the heating bill - with payments normally made in November or December.
In South Cambs from winter 2009 to 2010 there were 31,530 recipients of winter fuel payments, according to the Department for Work and Pensions.
The latest available data shows that in winter 2019 to 2020 there were 29,620 recipients, a decrease of 1,910, or six per cent.
Out of 380 local authorities, South Cambs ranks 300th for percentage decrease.
Among the 29,620 recipients, 12,860 received £100, 2,880 received £150, 9,430 received £200 and 4,460 received £300.
Meanwhile in North Herts, there were 27,180 recipients from 2009 to 2010. By 2019 to 2020 this had decreased to 24,420 - a decrease of 2,760, or 10 per cent.
North Herts ranks 164th in the country for percentage decrease overall.
Out of the 24,420 recipients of payments, 9,700 received £100, 2,510 received £150, 8,160 received £200, and 4,040 received £300.