DECC to propose new fuel poverty definition

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Woman keeping warm in winter

In a bid to make the way in which fuel poverty is measured more clear, the government is to put forward a proposal to redefine the term.

People considered to be in a state of fuel poverty under the current definition are those that spend in excess of 10 per cent of income (after tax) in order to keep the temperature of the home at a "satisfactory" level - 21 degrees in main living quarters. Under this definition around 3.5 million people in England are suffering from fuel poverty.

Using framework provided by the London School of Economics' Professor John Hall - who previously criticised the existing way of measuring fuel poverty - the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has stated that it will propose a new definition.

Commenting on the issue, energy secretary, Ed Davey, stated: "We want to make sure people across the country are able to keep warm in winter and we have a range of schemes in place already doing just that.

"But with the number of people living in fuel poverty projected to rise, the time has come to go back to basics to ensure we are doing all we can. This means defining and measuring fuel poverty in the right way and working up  a new fuel poverty strategy so we can target our available resources where they are needed most," Mr Davey concluded.

The Warm Home Discount Scheme is just one of a few schemes the government offers to help those in fuel poverty.

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